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Numerical Simulation of Advanced Monolithic Microcooler Designs for High Heat Flux Microelectronics

[+] Author Affiliations
Sebastian Scholl, Catherine Gorle, Farzad Houshmand, Tanya Liu, Hyoungsoon Lee, Yoonjin Won, Mehdi Asheghi, Kenneth Goodson

Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Hooman Kazemi

Nuvotronics LLC, Radford, VA

Paper No. IPACK2015-48122, pp. V002T06A009; 9 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Technical Conference and Exhibition on Packaging and Integration of Electronic and Photonic Microsystems collocated with the ASME 2015 13th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels
  • Volume 2: Advanced Electronics and Photonics, Packaging Materials and Processing; Advanced Electronics and Photonics: Packaging, Interconnect and Reliability; Fundamentals of Thermal and Fluid Transport in Nano, Micro, and Mini Scales
  • San Francisco, California, USA, July 6–9, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5689-5
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


This study considers CFD simulations with conjugate heat transfer performed in the framework of designing a complex micro-scale cooling geometry. The numerical investigation of the three-dimensional, laminar flow (Reynolds number smaller than 480) and the solid conduction is done on a reduced model of the heat sink micro-structure to enable exploring a variety of configurations at a limited computational cost. The reduced model represents a unit-cell, and uses periodic and symmetry boundary conditions to mimic the conditions in the entire cooling manifold. A simulation of the entire heat sink micro-structure was performed to verify the unit-cell set-up, and the comparison demonstrated that the unit-cell simulations allow reducing the computational cost by two orders of magnitude while retaining accurate results. The baseline design for the unit-cell represents a configuration used in traditional electronic heat sinks, i.e. a simple channel geometry with a rectangular cross section, with a diameter of 50 μm, where the fluid flows between two cooling fins. Subsequently three types of modified geometries with feature sizes of 50 μm were considered: baffled geometries that guide the flow towards the hotspot region, geometries where the fins are connected by crossbars, and a woodpile structure without cooling fins. Three different mass-flow rates were tested. Based on the medium mass-flow rate considered, the woodpile geometry showed the highest heat transfer coefficient with an increase of 70% compared to the baseline geometry, but at the cost of increasing the pressure drop by more than 300%. The crossbar geometries were shown to be promising configurations, with increases in the heat transfer coefficient of more than 20% for a 70% increase in pressure drop. The potential for further optimization of the crossbar configurations by adding or removing individual crossbars will be investigated in a follow up study. The results presented demonstrate the increase in performance that can be obtained by investigating a variety of designs for single phase cooling devices using unit-cell conjugate heat transfer simulations.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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