This paper explores copper inverse opal (CIO) surface reliability in pool boiling experiments in water and a new, low-global-warming-potential (GWP = 1) hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) refrigerant R-1233zd. The CIO-based structure is intended to develop enhanced two-phase heat transfer surfaces for extreme-heat-flux (∼1 kW/cm2) micro-coolers. In this study, a limited number of pool boiling experiments were performed using water and HFO-1233zd fluid, and the reliability of the CIO-based surfaces was evaluated. Critical heat flux (CHF) values in HFO-1233zd at 40°C–45°C saturation temperatures and the corresponding saturation pressures were also measured. The CHF values with the refrigerant are significantly lower compared to those with water, but the refrigerant allows for a wider usable temperature range in the end application of the micro-coolers and is not limited to data centers with controlled ambient conditions.

Reliability experiments with CIO surface samples — involving pool boiling with water on the CIO surfaces for approximately 48 hours and with HFO-1233zd for 144 hours — showed no structural degradation of the enhanced surface or any significant performance drop in heat transfer coefficients. The CIO surface samples in water were oxidized, most likely due to the presence of air in water and in the experimental vessel.

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