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A Vapor Chamber Using Graphite Foams as Wicks for Cooling High Heat Flux Electronics

[+] Author Affiliations
Minhua Lu, Larry Mok

IBM, Yorktown Heights, NY

R. J. Bezama

IBM, Hopewell Junction, NY

Paper No. IPACK2005-73170, pp. 233-238; 6 pages
  • ASME 2005 Pacific Rim Technical Conference and Exhibition on Integration and Packaging of MEMS, NEMS, and Electronic Systems collocated with the ASME 2005 Heat Transfer Summer Conference
  • Advances in Electronic Packaging, Parts A, B, and C
  • San Francisco, California, USA, July 17–22, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division and Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4200-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3762-9
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


A vapor chamber using high thermal conductivity and permeability graphite foam as a wick has been designed, built and tested. With ethanol as the working fluid, the vapor chamber has been demonstrated at a heat flux of 80 W/cm2 . The effects of the capillary limit, the boiling limit, and the thermal resistance in restricting the overall performance of a vapor chamber have been analyzed. Because of the high thermal conductivity of the graphite foams, the modeling results show that the performance of a vapor chamber using a graphite foam is about twice that of one using a copper wick structure. Furthermore, if water is used as the working fluid instead of ethanol, the performance of the vapor chamber will be increased further. Graphite foam vapor chambers with water as the working fluid can be made by treating the graphite foam with an oxygen plasma to improve the wetting of the graphite by the water.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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