The advent of cloud computing and the complex packaging architecture of next generation electronic devices drives methods for advanced thermal management solutions. Convection based single-phase cooling systems are inefficient due to their large pressure drops, fluid temperature differences and costs, and are incapable of meeting the cooling requirements in the high power density components and systems. Alternatively, phase-change cooling techniques are attractive due to their ability to remove large amounts of heat while maintaining uniform fluid temperatures. Pool boiling heat transfer mechanism centers on the nucleation, growth and departure of a bubble from the heat transfer surface in a stagnant pool of liquid. The pool boiling performance is quantified by the Critical Heat Flux (CHF) and Heat Transfer Coefficients (HTC) which dictate the operating ranges and efficiency of the heat transfer process. In this work, three novel geometries are introduced to modify the nucleation characteristics, liquid pathways and contact line motion on the prime heater surface for a simultaneous increase in CHF and HTC.

First, sintered microchannels and nucleating region with feeder channels (NRFC) were developed through the mechanistic concept of separate liquid-vapor pathways and enhanced macroconvection heat transfer. A maximum CHF of 420 W/cm2 at a wall superheat of 1.7 °C with a HTC of 2900 MW/m2°C was achieved with the sintered-channels configuration, while the NRFC reached a CHF of 394 W/cm2 with a HTC of 713 kW/m2°C. Second, the scale effect of liquid wettability, roughness and microlayer evaporation was exploited to facilitate capillary wicking in graphene through interlaced porous copper particles. A CHF of 220 W/cm2 with a HTC of 155 kW/m2°C was achieved using an electrodeposition coating technique. Third, the chemical heterogeneity on nanoscale coatings was shown to increase the contribution from transient conduction mechanisms. A maximum CHF of 226 W/cm2 with a HTC of 107 kW/m2°C was achieved. The enhancement techniques developed here provide a mechanistic tool at the microscale and nanoscale to increase the boiling CHF and HTC.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Heat sinks (Electronics); Heat exchangers; Ebullition; Microfluidics; Fluid-structure interaction

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Microsystems Engineering (Ph.D.)

Department, Program, or Center

Microsystems Engineering (KGCOE)


Satish G. Kandlikar

Advisor/Committee Member

Michael Schertzer

Advisor/Committee Member

Robert Stevens


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes