Forced convection boiling in a microchannel heat sink

Linan Jiang, Man Wong, Yitshak Zohar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

199 Scopus citations


Micromachining technology was utilized to fabricate a transparent microchannel heat-sink system by bonding glass to a silicon wafer. The micro heat sink consisted of a microchannel array, a heater, and a temperature sensor array. This integrated microsystem allowed simultaneous qualitative visualizations of the flow pattern within the microchannels and quantitative measurements of temperature distributions, flow rates, and input power levels. Boiling curves of temperature as a function of the input power were established. No boiling plateau was observed in the boiling curves, consistent with our previously reported data but different from results reported for macrochannel heat sinks. Three stable boiling modes, depending on the input power level, have been distinguished from the flow patterns. Local nucleation boiling was observed in microchannels with a hydraulic diameter as small as 26 μm at the lower input power range. At the higher input power range, a stable annular flow was the dominant boiling mode. Bubbly flow, commonly observed in macrochannels, could not be developed in the present microchannels. Consequently, no boiling plateau was detected in the boiling curves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-87
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2001


  • Flow visualization
  • Forced convection boiling
  • Microchannel heat sink
  • Phase change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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