A theoretical model is developed for predicting the thermal performance of a flat micro heat pipe with a rectangular grooved wick using a water-based Al2O3 nanofluid. In the present model, the axial variations of the wall temperature and the evaporation and condensation rates are considered by solving the one-dimensional conduction equation for the wall and the augmented Young-Laplace equation for the phase change process. In particular, a model which accounts for the change of the heat transfer surface characteristics by the formation of a thin porous coating layer is suggested. By using the developed model, the thermal performance of the heat pipe using nanofluid is compared with that of the heat pipe using based fluid. It is found that the thin porous layer on the fin top and the side of the groove which is created by nanoparticles suspended in nanofluids significantly increases the thermal performance of the heat pipe.

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