Technical Briefs

Bio-inspired Passive Skin Cooling for Handheld Microelectronics Devices

[+] Author and Article Information
Zhi Huang, Xinsheng Zhang, Ming Zhou

School of Power and Mechanical Engineering,  Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430072, China

Xiaoding Xu, Xianzheng Zhang

School of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences,  Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430072, China

Xuejiao Hu

School of Power and Mechanical Engineering,  Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430072, Chinaxjhu@whu.edu.cn

J. Electron. Packag 134(1), 014501 (Mar 19, 2012) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005908 History: Received July 14, 2011; Revised November 10, 2011; Accepted November 30, 2011; Published March 07, 2012; Online March 19, 2012

Increasing functionality demands more heat dissipation from the skin of handheld devices. The maximum amount of heat that can be dissipated passively, prescribed by the natural convection and blackbody radiation theories, is becoming the bottleneck. In this letter, we propose a novel bio-inspirited technique that may overcome this passive cooling limit. It is made possible by using a biomimetic skin capable of perspiration on demand. The key component of the biomimetic skin is a thin layer of temperature sensitive hydro gel (TSHG). The TSHG layer can sweat the skin with moisture when the skin temperature is higher than the TSHG’s lower critical solution temperature (LCST), and thus boost the heat dissipation rate through evaporation. The TSHG layer can absorb moisture at low temperature to replenish. With this novel passive cooling technology, a handheld device can have nearly four times more power beyond the traditional passive cooling limit, and may be powerful enough to run a desktop operation system like a full functional personal computer.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Perspiration cooled handheld device and its heat dissipation network

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Figure 2

TSHG before (a) and after (b) pasted on the mock-up device, and (c) the locations of the heaters (dashed squares) and thermocouples (“O”—attached on skin, and “ + ”—attached on heater). TC1 and TC5 are located at device centers. TC2 and TC6 are located at heater centers. TC3 and TC4 are located at device corners. Ts is taken as the average of the readings from TC1 and TC5, since they represent the temperature maxima on the skin.

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Figure 3

The skin temperature rises of the mock-up device powered at 5.75 W for the scenarios without perspiration cooling (empty symbols) and with perspiration cooling (solid symbols, where the diamond symbols are measured at ambient Ta  =  23.6 °C and RH =  80%, and the triangular symbols are measured at ambient Ta  =  25.0 °C and RH =  10%)

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Figure 4

Perspiration cooling capability and heat dissipation enhancement over natural convection and thermal radiation for Ta  =  25 °C



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