A Graphite Foams Based Vapor Chamber for Chip Heat Spreading

[+] Author and Article Information
Minhua Lu, Larry Mok

 IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, 1101 Kitchawan Road, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

R. J. Bezama

 IBM Microelectronics Division, Route 52, Hopewell Junction, NY 12533

J. Electron. Packag 128(4), 427-431 (Nov 15, 2005) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2351908 History: Received September 30, 2005; Revised November 15, 2005

A vapor chamber using high thermal conductivity and permeability graphite foam as a wick has been designed, built, and tested. With ethanol as the working fluid, the vapor chamber has been demonstrated at a heat flux of 80Wcm2. The effects of the capillary limit, the boiling limit, and the thermal resistance in restricting the overall performance of a vapor chamber have been analyzed. Because of the high thermal conductivity of the graphite foams, the modeling results show that the performance of a vapor chamber using a graphite foam is about twice that of one using a copper wick structure. Furthermore, if water is used as the working fluid instead of ethanol, the performance of the vapor chamber will be increased further. Graphite foam vapor chambers with water as the working fluid can be made by treating the graphite foam with an oxygen plasma to improve the wetting of the graphite by the water.

Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 4

Thermal resistance of vapor chambers containing different amount of ethanol versus input power

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Figure 5

Capillary limit dependency on working fluid thermal properties versus temperature

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Figure 6

Boiling limit dependency on fluid thermal properties versus temperature

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Figure 7

SEM image of a typical graphite foam (courtesy of J. Klett of Oak Ridge National Lab)

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Figure 3

Illustration of the vapor chamber test configuration

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Figure 2

Schematics of the (a) vapor chamber and (b) a picture of finished vapor chamber

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Figure 1

Pressure drop for a 1mm thick POCO graphite foam as a function of fluid velocity




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