Application of Spot Cooling Technologies for On-Detector Electronics
Thermal management is a key design limitation in detector instrumentation and related electronics. The thermal management system typically is designed to cool the entire board and is not well suited to control the increasing number of hot spots found in advanced electronics systems. The problem is exacerbated with the harsh environment and tight tolerances found in detectors used in the study of nuclear physics. This project will develop an approach to manage localized hot spots in these devices, reducing the overall cooling requirements. Open-cell silicon carbide (SiC) foam will be the key component, functioning as a high-thermal-conductivity, high-surface-area cooling fin. It also has a perfect thermal expansion match with SiC-based electronics. These materials previously have been used as heat sinks for high-power electronics, dissipating a 1000-W/cm steady-state heat flux while maintaining the surface temperature at 53Â°C. In Phase I, electrodes will be incorporated into the SiC foam, and the surface chemistry will be tailored to allow small volumes of fluid to be moved via electro-osmosis. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The advanced heat sinks should result in an inexpensive approach for thermal control of the detector electronics used for nuclear physics experiments. Other applications for the technology include military and civilian radar, military and commercial satellites, manned and unmanned spacecraft, military and commercial aircraft, and mainframe and even personal computers.
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