Computational modeling and experimental validation of single phase and boiling flows in microgap cooling layers

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Lorenzini Gutierrez, Luis Daniel
Joshi, Yogendra
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The microelectronics industry has been driven by the trends of miniaturization and increased functionality; however, the complexities of processing as the physical limits of silicon are being reached have prompted the research of alternatives. The three-dimensional stacking of integrated circuits (3D ICs) offers several advantages over planar electronics. One of the main challenges for enabling such technology is the reduction of the available volume for heat dissipation. Microfluidic interlayer cooling is a feasible solution for the thermal management of such devices, but several challenges remain to achieve a comprehensive solution that is compatible with electrical, structural, thermal, and hydraulic considerations. In the present work, different thermal demonstration vehicles (TDVs) are numerically and experimentally studied in an effort to provide a practical cooling solution for 3D ICs and conciliate the multidisciplinary challenges of such. A contribution is made in the single and two-phase modeling by proposing an approach that is capable of accurately predicting the fully-resolved temperature and flow fields across the entire cooling layer and capturing non-trivial aspects such as hotspot cooling. The physics of flow boiling in such layers are extensively studied by means of proposing and adapting a mechanistic phase change model that can be used with commercial computational codes. The model was tested and developed starting from flow boiling simulations in a single microchannel and comparing with flow boiling correlations, evolving until the point of simulating cooling layers with variable density of pin fins and hotspots, and validating with in-house experimental data generated for the purpose of studying the two-phase flow regimes, their thermal and hydraulic implications and how they can be predicted through detailed CFD-HT models for the ultimate goal of constituting a valuable tool in the design and analysis of heterogeneous microfluidic cooling devices.
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