RECENT ADVANCES IN TWO-PHASE THERMAL GROUND PLANES
Scott M. Thompson
The continual miniaturization and sophistication of power electronics has resulted in higher heat fluxes−driving thermal management away from single-phase, metallic heat spreaders/sinks toward two-phase heat spreaders or thermal ground planes (TGPs). TGPs are capable of achieving ultra-high effective thermal conductivities and mitigating concentrated heat fluxes upward of 1 kW/cm2. Their advancement, however, will require further research and development, especially with regard to novel wicking structures, surface preparations, flow path configurations, and ultrathin form factors. In so doing, the TGP will continue to be an effective surface-to-sink (noninvasive) thermal management device capable of meeting stringent application constraints such as size, weight, and power. This chapter focuses on the recent advances in TGPs−specifically vapor chambers and flat-plate oscillating heat pipes−for achieving the next generation of high heat flux transport. An emphasis on novel wicking structures, surface engineering, overall geometry/shapes, and thermal performance will be provided. The ongoing challenges for achieving the next-generation TGP for highly efficient thermal spreading will be discussed in detail.
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