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Direct Comparison Between a Variety of Microchannels: Part 1 — Channel Manufacture and Measurement

[+] Author Affiliations
Cormac Eason, Tara Dalton, Mark Davies

University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

Cian O’Mathúna, Orla Slattery

University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

Paper No. ICMM2004-2329, pp. 149-156; 8 pages
  • ASME 2004 2nd International Conference on Microchannels and Minichannels
  • ASME 2nd International Conference on Microchannels and Minichannels
  • Rochester, New York, USA, June 17–19, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4164-2
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


This paper is the first part of a two part study into the pressure-flow characteristics of a range of microchannels measured over a range of typical Reynolds numbers. Here the manufacture of the channels and their resulting quality is addressed. The target application is silicon cooling. Wet Etching, Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE) and Precision Sawing have been used to create microchannels in silicon and thermoset plastic. Anodic bonding has been used to bond covers onto the DRIE and Wet Etched channels. Wet etching a (100) silicon wafer using a KOH solution produced trapezoidal channels of width 577 μm and height 413μm. DRIE using the Bosch process produced rectangular channels in (100) silicon of width 304μm and height 332μm. Mechanical sawing using a Disco Dicing Saw produced near rectangular channels in both silicon and plastic. The silicon channels were 52μm wide and 423μm deep, and the plastic channels were 203μm wide by 344 or 382μm deep. Channel dimensions were measured using a scanning electron microscope. Silicon was the main material chosen, since it is possible to cut cooling channels directly into one side of a silicon device, while the electronic parts are deposited on the other, giving effective cooling with minimal thermal resistance. The plastics chosen are commonly used to encapsulate electronic packages and will also be in close proximity to the heat producing regions of the device it protects. Embossed channels on a plastic encapsulant also potentially offer a low cost mass producible means of cooling electronic devices with a low overall thermal resistance. A glass cover was anodically bonded over the silicon channels to prevent channel to channel leakage and provide optical access. The plastic channels were also covered by a glass slide, bonded in position using SU8 Photoresist spun on the glass. This paper demonstrates the feasibility of producing relatively large microchannels in two materials by three methods. Part two of this paper will describe the modular flow test system and analyze the flow friction through the channels.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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