Research Papers: Heat Exchangers

Design, Fabrication, and Performance Evaluation of a Hybrid Wick Vapor Chamber

[+] Author and Article Information
Feng Zhou

Toyota Research Institute of North America,
1555 Woodridge Avenue,
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
e-mail: feng.zhou@toyota.com

Yanghe Liu, Ercan M. Dede

Toyota Research Institute of North America,
1555 Woodridge Avenue,
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received November 20, 2018; final manuscript received May 16, 2019; published online June 12, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Srinath V. Ekkad.

J. Heat Transfer 141(8), 081802 (Jun 12, 2019) (8 pages) Paper No: HT-18-1761; doi: 10.1115/1.4043797 History: Received November 20, 2018; Revised May 16, 2019

The growing electrification of transportation systems is dramatically increasing the waste heat that must be dissipated from high-density power electronics. Transformative embedded heat spreading technologies must be developed in next-generation systems to enable air cooling of power semiconductors with heat fluxes exceeding 500 W/cm2 over large hotspot areas up to 1 cm2. In this study, vapor chamber heat spreaders, or thermal ground planes (TGPs), with customized wick structures are investigated as one possibility. A 10 cm × 10 cm TGP with hybrid wick, which is a blend of a biporous wick with a standard monoporous wick, was designed. The TGP was tested in combination with a straight pin fin heat sink under air jet impingement and a 1 cm2 size heat source. The experimental performance of the hybrid wick TGP was compared under the same air-cooled conditions with an off-the-shelf TGP of the same size from a commercial vendor and a TGP with a biporous wick only. The customized hybrid wick TGP exhibits ∼28% lower thermal resistance compared with a traditional commercial TGP, and the capillary limit heat flux is measured as 450 W/cm2. Technical challenges in extending this capillary limit heat flux value and TGP integration into packaged electronics are described.

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Fig. 1

(a) Cross section schematic of a 100 mm × 100 mm × 3 mm thick heat spreader and (b) heat spreader maximum temperature versus heat transfer coefficient from conduction heat transfer FEA

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Fig. 2

Computed 2D heat flux profile along the centerline of the top of the 3 mm thick heat spreader from the conduction heat transfer FEA with h ∼ 750 W/(m2 K)

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Fig. 3

Structural schematic of a monoporous wick off-the-shelf design (left), biporous wick customized design (middle), and hybrid wick customized design (right)

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Fig. 4

SEM images of (a) monoporous wick structure and (b) biporous wick structure each under 150 times magnification

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Fig. 5

SEM images of (a) monoporous wick structure and (b) biporous wick structure each under 50 times magnification

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Fig. 6

Construction of serpentine film heater for TGP testing

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Fig. 7

Test setup and results of heater capability testing. Note that the inset IR image shows the heater element at maximum power; the element winds around the embedded (at center region) TC, which is mounted directly to the Cu substrate.

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Fig. 8

Experimental setup for vapor chamber thermal performance testing

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Fig. 9

(a) Typical time–temperature data showing instantaneous temperature change attributed to boiling incipience and dry out of the biporous wick vapor chamber. (b) Diagrams of different heat transfer operational stages.

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Fig. 10

Thermal resistance comparison of three kinds of vapor chambers, e.g., monoporous wick structure, biporous wick structure, and monoporous/biporous hybrid wick structure

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Fig. 11

TGP heat flux versus temperature differential

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Fig. 12

A three-dimensional schematic drawing of a two-layer evaporator wick structure is shown with liquid (blue, downward and horizontal arrows) and vapor (red, upward arrows) flow pathways indicated. The view is cut by planes intersecting the liquid-feeding posts (left) and the vapor vents (right) to reveal the internal structure. Reprinted with permission from Sudhakar et al. [24]. Copyright 2017 by IEEE.



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