Data Center Decarbonization

Thermal management of electronics

Project Overview

Thermal management is a critical bottleneck in the advancement of high-power integrated circuits (ICs). Our research focused on developing membrane-based heat sinks (MHS) to address this challenge. Featuring a unique structural configuration with a membrane positioned above the heater surface, our MHS technology achieved heat fluxes up to 600 W/cm² and a heat transfer coefficient (HTC) of up to ~ 1 MW/m²K using water as the working fluid.

Project Goals and Achievements

The primary goals of this project were to enhance cooling efficiency, reduce environmental impact, and develop practical implementation guidelines for data center integration. Our experiments demonstrated that MHS can significantly outperform traditional air cooling methods, achieving a 10x improvement in HTC. Additionally, we developed scalable manufacturing and packaging processes, characterized the reliability of heat sinks, thermal interface materials (TIMs), and membranes, and performed techno-economic analyses (TEA) to assess commercialization feasibility. These advancements contribute to reducing energy consumption and lowering the carbon footprint of data centers.

Membrane Heat Sink