Zhonghua Yao


Boiling is a common mechanism for liquid-vapor phase transition and is widely exploited in power generation, refrigeration and many other systems. The efficacy of boiling heat transfer is characterized by two parameters: (a) heat transfer coefficient (HTC) or the thermal conductance; (b) the critical heat flux (CHF). Increasing the CHF and the HTC has significant impacts on system-level energy efficiency, safety and cost. As the surface modification at nano-scale has proven to be an effective approach to improve pool boiling heat transfer, the enhancement due to combination of nanomaterials with micro-scale structures on boiling heat transfer is an area of current interest. In this study, metallic- and semiconductor- material based nanowire structures were fabricated and studied for boiling enhancement. A new technique is developed to directly grow Cu nanowire (CuNW) on Si substrate with electro-chemical deposition, and to produce height-controlled hydrophilic nanowired surfaces. Using a two-step electroless etching process, silicon nanowire (SiNW) have been selectively fabricated on top, bottom, and sidewall surfaces of silicon microchannels. An array of the SiNW coated microchannels functioned as a heat sink and was investigated for its pool boiling performance with water. This microchannel heat sink yielded superior boiling performance compared to a sample substrate with only microchannels and a plain substrate with nanowires. The enhancement was associated with the area covered by SiNWs. The sidewalls with SiNWs greatly affected bubble dynamics, resulting in a significant performance enhancement. The maximum heat flux of the microchannel with SiNW on all surfaces was improved by 150% over the microchannel-only heat sink and by more than 400% over a plain silicon substrate. These results provide a viable solution to meet the demands for dissipating a high heat transfer rate in a compact space, with additional insight gained into the boiling mechanism for the microchannel heat sinks with nanostructures.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Nanowires--Testing; Heat--Transmission; Heat exchangers--Fluid dynamics

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Microsystems Engineering (Ph.D.)

Department, Program, or Center

Microsystems Engineering (KGCOE)


Kandlikar, Satish


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: TK7874.85 .Y36 2013


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