An attempt is made here to characterize thermal conductivity of water-based Al 2 O 3 nanofluid and then use the same in a circular finned thermosyphon (TPCT) to measure its thermal performance. The concentration of Al 2 O 3 nanofluid is varied within 0.05–0.25% by volume. The thermal conductivity of nanofluid is increased with concentration of Al 2 O 3 nanoparticles as well as with temperature. A maximum of 26.7% enhancement of thermal conductivity is observed at 45 °C for 0.25% concentration by volume of nanofluid in comparison to that of de-ionized (DI) water. Variations of surface tension and contact angle of Al 2 O 3 nanofluid are also compared with DI water. One of the smallest TPCT with different heat inputs (4 W, 8 W, and 12 W) and different inclinations (30 deg, 45 deg, 60 deg, and 90 deg) is tested for different concentration of Al 2 O 3 nanofluid, which will find application in smaller electronic units. It is found that use of nanofluid decreases the wall temperature distribution of TPCT. Thermal resistance of TPCT decreases whenever TPCT is filled with nanofluid and a maximum of 36.4% reduction in thermal resistance is noted for 0.25% volume of nanoparticles at 4 W with an inclination of 60 deg. It is also found that performance of TPCT is higher at 60 deg inclination compared to other inclinations, especially for lower heat input.