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Recent Results of Performance Measurements of Micro-Channel Heat Pipes in Silicon
Keywords: Thermal Management, Heat Pipes, Liquid Metal
During the last two years the MHPs have been modeled, designed, fabricated and tested at Auburn University. Laboratory tests have demonstrated that the water filled MHPs have performed as well as other similar working systems described in the open literature. Twenty two 100 M by 100 M by 9.5 mm long channels were etched into the silicon on a 100 m centerline pitch. The test specimens fabricated were 10 mm long by 5 mm wide by 300 m thick. The channels were then filled with the working fluid and a top lid made from silicon was attached while under vacuum. Five platinum RTDs were patterned onto the top of the silicon lid for temperature measurements. Heat was applied using a tungsten element. During testing surface temperatures were measured using the RTDs and IR thermal scans as well as thermocouples, a heat flux gage, and a custom fabricated calorimeter. Several novel techniques were developed in this project. One of the most notable is a surface metallization technique that enables silicon-silicon binding at room temperature under moderate pressures. Measurements of water and liquid metal filled MHPs under various power loadings are presented. Also presented are measurements taken from a solid silicon test sample (no micro-channels) in order to validate the testing procedure and benchmark measurement errors. It is shown that the filled heat pipes were functioning well, but not at the theoretical optimum performance level.
Daniel K. Harris, Associate Professor
Auburn University
Auburn, AL
USA


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