Under the DARPA-sponsored ICECool Applications program, a microchannel cooling system using a 50-50 ethylene glycol-water mixture was optimized for cooling a high-power GaN-on-Diamond Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC). Automated multi-objective optimization of the microchannel passages yielded an optimized design with a predicted thermal resistance of 22.4 K·cm2/kW at a pressure drop of only 121.4 kPa for an inlet temperature of 40°C. These values were corroborated by a coupled thermofluid analysis that included a detailed treatment of both the gate region and microchannel cooling geometry. Several versions of prototype coolers were fabricated, with one set consisting of pairs of coolers joined at their heated faces. These cooler pairs were used in heat exchange tests to characterize the average thermal resistance and the flow performance of the coolers. The performance testing results were consistent with the analytic predictions. Based on the analytical and experimental results, the system may be operated at inlet temperatures as high as 65°C without exceeding the transistor junction temperatures of 240 °C required for 106 hour mean-time-to -failure. The higher inlet temperature ameliorates system penalties associated with rejection of waste heat to ambient heat sinks.

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