A Critical Assessment of Nano Enhanced Vapor Chamber Wick Structures for Electronics Cooling
Paper i proceeding, 2021
The increasing need for high thermal dissipation in small electronic products puts tough requirements on effective cooling solutions. Two of the most effective passive cooling devices in electronics today are vapor chambers and heat pipes. With new advancements in materials science and nanotechnology comes the possibility to further increase cooling capacity and at the same time make devices lighter. This study is a critical assessment on recent progress in the field of nanomaterial enhanced wick structures in vapor chambers and heat pipes. In this paper, nano-enhanced wick structures are divided into five different sub-categories based on material type. Publication trends for the different types of nano-enhanced wicks are studied by plotting them on a timeline. It is found that nanostructured metal wicks is the most studied field in recent years. A plot showing wick performance in terms of superheat temperatures for given heat flux is created to be used for benchmarking of new wick structures when pool boil experiments are carried out. An attempt to find correlation between publication trends, type of wick and performance is done. On the basis of the gathered data it is deemed difficult to find a distinct correlation, this is mainly due to difficulty in comparing performance between different studies, especially when different heat fluxes are used. There is no unambiguous answer to which category of nano-enhanced wicks that should be target for future studies. Graphene coating and pure carbon nanomaterials such as aerogels and graphene foam are still relatively unexplored and believed to have great potential if they can be attached to envelope materials.