Rapid growth and advancements in high-power electronic devices, IC chips, electric vehicles, and lithium-ion batteries have compelled the development of efficient and novel thermal management solutions. Currently used air and liquid cooling systems are unable to remove the heat efficiently due to significant pressure drops, temperature differences, and limited heat-carrying capacities. In contrast, phase-change cooling techniques can remove the larger amount of heat with higher efficiency while maintaining safer operational temperature ranges. Pool boiling heat transfer is a type of phase-change cooling technique in which vapor bubbles generated on the boiling surface carry away the heat. This pool boiling performance is limited by the maximum heat dissipation capacity, quantified by the Critical Heat Flux (CHF), and efficiency of the boiling surface, quantified by the Heat Transfer Coefficient (HTC). This work emphasizes on improving both CHF and HTC by developing highly surface functional and tunable microporous coatings using sintering and electrodeposition techniques. Initially, graphene nanoplatelets/copper (GNP/Cu)-based composite coatings were developed using a multi-step electrodeposition technique. And 2% GNP/Cu coating rendered the highest reported CHF of 286 W/cm² and HTC of 204 kW/m²-°C with increased bond strength. To further enhance the cohesive and adhesive bond strength of the electrodeposited coatings, a novel multi-step electrodeposition technique was developed and tested on copper-based coatings. This technique dramatically improved the overall functionality, pool boiling performance, and durability of the coatings. Later, a sintering technique was used to develop the coatings using GNP and copper particles. Uniform spreading of GNP over the coatings was obtained via ball milling technique. This technique yielded a CHF of 239 W/cm² and the HTC of 285 kW/m²-°C (~91% and ~438% higher than a plain copper surface, respectively). A novel approach of salt-templated sintering was developed in the final part to attain a better control on porosity and wicking properties of the sintered coatings. This generated interconnected porous networks with a higher nucleating activity, and attained record-breaking CHF of 289 W/cm² and the HTC of 1,314 kW/m²-°C.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Electronic apparatus and appliances--Cooling; Coatings; Heat sinks (Electronics); Fluid-structure interaction; Ebullition

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Microsystems Engineering (Ph.D.)

Department, Program, or Center

Microsystems Engineering (KGCOE)


Anju R. Gupta

Advisor/Committee Member

Satish G. Kandlikar

Advisor/Committee Member

Robert Stevens


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes