Design, fabrication, and experimental evaluation of microchannel heat sinks in cpu cooling

Koyuncuoğlu, Aziz
A novel complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) compatible microchannel heat sink is designed, fabricated, and tested for electronic cooling applications. The proposed microchannel heat sink requires no design change of the electronic circuitry underneath. Therefore, microchannels can be fabricated on top of the finished CMOS wafers by just adding a few more steps to the fabrication flow. Combining polymer (parylene C) and metal (copper) structures, a high performance microchannel heat sink can be easily manufactured on top of the electronic circuits, forming a monolithic cooling system. In the design stage, computer simulations of the microchannels with several different dimensions have been performed. Microchannels made of only parylene showed poor heat transfer performance as expected since the thermal conductivity of parylene C is very low. Therefore an alternative design comprising structural parylene layer and embedded metal layers has been modeled. Copper is selected as the metal due to its simple fabrication and very good thermal properties. The results showed that the higher the copper surface area the better the thermal performance of the heat sinks. Based on the modeling results, the final test structures are designed with full copper sidewalls with a parylene top wall. Several different microchannel test chips have been fabricated in METU-MEMS Research & Application Center cleanroom facilities. The devices are tested with different flow rates and heat loads. During the tests, it was shown that the test devices can remove about 126 W/cm2 heat flux from the chip surface while keeping the chip temperature at around 90°C with a coolant flow rate of 500 μl/min per channel.