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Research Papers

Thermal Design Methodology for an Embedded Power Electronic Module Using Double-Sided Microchannel Cooling

[+] Author and Article Information
Manu Mital

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284-3015mmital@vcu.edu

Elaine P. Scott

 Seattle Pacific University, 307 Third Avenue West, Suite 307, Seattle, WA 98119-1957scotte@spu.edu

J. Electron. Packag 130(3), 031003 (Jul 29, 2008) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2957320 History: Received March 26, 2007; Revised January 16, 2008; Published July 29, 2008

This paper presents a thermal design methodology for an integrated power electronic module (IPEM) using embedded, single-phase, and laminar-flow rectangular microchannels. Three-dimensional packaging of electronic components in a small and compact volume makes thermal management more challenging, but IPEMs also offer the opportunity to extract heat from both the top and the bottom side of the module, enabling double-sided cooling. Although double-sided cooling of IPEMs can be implemented using traditional aluminum heat sinks, microchannels offer much higher heat transfer coefficients and a compact cooling approach that is compatible with the shrinking footprint of electronic packages. The overall goal of this work was to find the optimal microchannel configuration for the IPEM using double-sided cooling by evaluating the effect of channel placement, channel dimensions, and coolant flow rate. It was found that the high thermal conductivity copper of the direct bonded copper (DBC) layer is the most feasible location for the channels. Based on a new analytical heat transfer model developed for microchannels in IPEM structures, several design configurations were proposed in this study that employ the microchannels in the copper layers of the top and bottom DBCs. The designs included multiple parallel channels in copper as well as a single wide microchannel. The analytical model was verified using a finite element model, and the competing design configurations were compared against a commercial cooler. For a typical IPEM structure dissipating on the order of 100W of heat, it was concluded that a single microchannel DBC heat sink is preferable to multiple parallel channels under a double-sided cooling configuration, considering thermal performance, pressure drop and fabrication trade-offs.

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Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

IPEM shown using (a) exploded view and with (b) second level packaging (all dimensions in mm)

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Figure 2

Cross-section of IPEM with two options for embedded microchannel cooling (not to scale)

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Figure 3

Cross-section of the IPEM with channels in DBC attached on both sides of the module

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Figure 4

Cross-section showing layout of the channels and boundary conditions (not to scale)

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Figure 5

Convective thermal resistance and pressure drop for laminar flow in rectangular channels with widths 50μm, and 200μm and a single wide channel

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Figure 6

Proposed microchannel structures for integrated IPEM cooling

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Figure 7

Microchannel cooler from Curamik with a DBC substrate

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Figure 8

Experimental setup for validating microchannel model

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Figure 9

Microchannel cooler from Curamik®

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Figure 10

Comparison of experimental and simulated results for the simplified IPEM structure with a microcooler

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Figure 11

Temperature distribution of the IPEM for single- and double-sided microchannel cooling

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