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Research Papers

Thermal Modeling of Extreme Heat Flux Microchannel Coolers for GaN-on-SiC Semiconductor Devices

[+] Author and Article Information
Hyoungsoon Lee

Mechanical Engineering Department,
Stanford University,
Stanford, CA 94305
e-mail: lee8191@stanford.edu

Damena D. Agonafer, Farzad Houshmand, Mehdi Asheghi, Kenneth E. Goodson

Mechanical Engineering Department,
Stanford University,
Stanford, CA 94305

Yoonjin Won

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
University of California at Irvine,
Irvine, CA 92697

Catherine Gorle

Department of Civil Engineering and
Engineering Mechanics,
Columbia University,
New York, NY 10027

1Corresponding author.

2H. Lee and D. D. Agonafer contributed equally to this work.

Contributed by the Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ELECTRONIC PACKAGING. Manuscript received October 1, 2015; final manuscript received December 28, 2015; published online March 10, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Toru Ikeda.

J. Electron. Packag 138(1), 010907 (Mar 10, 2016) (12 pages) Paper No: EP-15-1104; doi: 10.1115/1.4032655 History: Received October 01, 2015; Revised December 28, 2015

Gallium nitride (GaN) high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs) dissipate high power densities which generate hotspots and cause thermomechanical problems. Here, we propose and simulate GaN-based HEMT technologies that can remove power densities exceeding 30 kW/cm2 at relatively low mass flow rate and pressure drop. Thermal performance of the microcooler module is investigated by modeling both single- and two-phase flow conditions. A reduced-order modeling approach, based on an extensive literature review, is used to predict the appropriate range of heat transfer coefficients associated with the flow regimes for the flow conditions. Finite element simulations are performed to investigate the temperature distribution from GaN to parallel microchannels of the microcooler. Single- and two-phase conjugate computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations provide a lower bound of the total flow resistance in the microcooler as well as overall thermal resistance from GaN HEMT to working fluid. A parametric study is performed to optimize the thermal performance of the microcooler. The modeling results provide detailed flow conditions for the microcooler in order to investigate the required range of heat transfer coefficients for removal of heat fluxes up to 30 kW/cm2 and a junction temperature maintained below 250 °C. The detailed modeling results include local temperature and velocity fields in the microcooler module, which can help in identifying the approximate locations of the maximum velocity and recirculation regions that are susceptible to dryout conditions.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Three-dimensional view of (a) the system level device, (b) quarter-symmetry device, and (c) cross-sectional view of the microchannel, which shows a 1.5 μm-thick GaN layer, 10 μm-thick SiC base, and 90 μm-thick SiC fin

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Fig. 2

Hydraulic diameter and mass velocity ranges for various correlations

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Fig. 3

Flow regime data compared to regime map proposed by Lee et al. [16]

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Fig. 4

Heat transfer coefficients for three different mass fluxes of G = 6000, 12,000, and 24,000 kg/m2 s obtained from four different correlations

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Fig. 5

Temperature distributions of the quarter-symmetry device, top surface, and fin side surface when an h of 400 kW/m2 K is imposed on the fin walls

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Fig. 6

(a) Temperature profile along the x-direction at the top surface. (b) Temperature rise along the z-direction below the hotspot. Note that the dominant temperature rise is from SiC fins.

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Fig. 7

Junction temperature at gates and the maximum wall temperature below gates with varying convective heat transfer coefficients

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Fig. 8

(a) Construction of single-cell computational model, (b) front and side view for nontapered model, and (c) front and side view for two different 45 deg tapered models

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Fig. 9

Average wall temperature and heat transfer coefficient for different mesh sizes

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Fig. 10

Computed heat transfer coefficient contour plots forthree different mass fluxes of (a) G = 6000 kg/m2 s, (b) G = 12,000 kg/m2 s, and (c) G = 24,000 kg/m2 s

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Fig. 11

Computed pressure contour plots of nontapered and 45 deg tapered designs for two different mass fluxes of (a) G = 6000 kg/m2 s and (b) G = 24,000 kg/m2 s

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Fig. 12

(a) Average heat transfer coefficient and (b) pressure drop of three different mass fluxes of G = 6000, 12,000, and 24,000 kg/m2 s for two different inlet designs

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Fig. 13

Computed temperature contour plots for three different mass fluxes of (a) G = 6000 kg/m2 s, (b) G = 12,000 kg/m2 s, and (c) G = 24,000 kg/m2 s

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Fig. 14

Computed velocity contour plots for three different mass fluxes of (a) G = 6000 kg/m2 s, (b) G = 12,000 kg/m2 s, and (c) G = 24,000 kg/m2 s

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Fig. 15

Three different meshes for VOF single-cell simulation

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Fig. 16

(a) Vapor volume fraction at the centerplane of microchannel and (b) temperature difference between the local temperature and the saturated temperature at the interface for three different ri values of 10,000, 20,000, and 50,000

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Fig. 17

Local pressure transient at four different locations

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Fig. 18

Transient temperatures at the centerline of top microchannel wall for (a) ri = 10,000 and (b) ri = 50,000 using the second finer mesh

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