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  1. Miniaturization and high heat flux of power electronic devices have posed a colossal challenge for adequate thermal management. Conventional air-cooling solutions are inadequate for high-performance electronics. Liquid cooling is an alternative solution thanks to the higher specific heat and latent heat associated with the coolants. Liquid-cooled cold plates are typically manufactured by different approaches such as: skived, forged, extrusion, electrical discharge machining. When researchers are facing challenges at creating complex geometries in small spaces, 3D-printing can be a solution. In this paper, a 3D-printed cold plate was designed and characterized with water coolant. The printed metal fin structures were strong enough to undergo pressure from the fluid flow even at high flow rates and small fin structures. A copper block with top surface area of 1 inch by 1 inch was used to mimic a computer chip. Experimental data has good match with a simulation model which was built using commercial software 6SigmaET. Effects of geometry parameters and operating parameters were investigated. Fin diameter was varied from 0.3 mm to 0.5 mm and fin height was maintained at 2 mm. A special manifold was designed to maximize the surface contact area between coolant and metal surface and therefore minimize thermalmore »resistance. The flow rate was varied from 0.75 L/min to 2 L/min and coolant inlet temperature was varied from 25 to 48 oC. It was observed that for the coolant inlet temperature 25 oC and aluminum cold plate, the junction temperature was kept below 63.2 oC at input power 350 W and pressure drop did not exceed 23 Kpa. Effects of metal materials used in 3D-printing on the thermal performance of the cold plate were also studied in detail.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 23, 2023
  2. Cu3Sn, a well-known intermetallic compound with a high melting temperature and thermal stability, has found numerous applications in microelectronics, 3D printing, and catalysis. However, the relationship between the material's thermal conductivity anisotropy and its complex anti-phase boundary superstructure is not well understood. Here, frequency domain thermoreflectance was used to map the thermal conductivity variation across the surface of arc-melted polycrystalline Cu3Sn. Complementary electron backscatter diffraction and transmission electron microscopy revealed the thermal conductivity in the principal a, b, and c orientations to be 57.6, 58.9, and 67.2 W/m-K, respectively. Density functional theory calculations for several Cu3Sn superstructures helped examine thermodynamic stability factors and evaluate the direction-resolved electron transport properties in the relaxation time approximation. The analysis of computed temperature- and composition-dependent free energies suggests metastability of the known long-period Cu3Sn superstructures while the transport calculations indicate a small directional variation in the thermal conductivity. The ∼15% anisotropy measured and computed in this study is well below previously reported experimental values for samples grown by liquid-phase electroepitaxy.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  3. We previously demonstrated how the Sn3Ag4Ti alloy can robustly bond onto silicon via selective laser melting (SLM). By employing this technology, thermal management devices (e.g., micro-channels, vapor chamber evaporators, heat pipes) can be directly printed onto the electronic package (silicon die) without using thermal interface materials. Under immersion two-phase cooling (pool boiling), we compare the performance of three chip cooling methods (conventional heat sink, bare silicon die and additively manufactured metal micro-fins) under high heat flux conditions (100 W/cm2 ). Heat transfer simulations show a significant reduction in the chip temperature for the silicon micro-fins. Reduction of the chip operating temperature or increase in clock speed are some of the advantages of this technology, which results from the elimination of thermal interface materials in the electronic package. Performance and reliability aspects of this technology are discussed through experiments and computational models.