Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Hyejin Moon


The present work consists of two major studies. The first study investigates the effects of surface energy or wettability on nucleate pool boiling and the second study investigates the thin-film evaporative cooling for near junction thermal management. For the first study, effects of surface energy or wettability on critical heat flux (CHF) and boiling heat transfer (BHT) of smooth heated surfaces was studied in saturated pool boiling of water at 1 atm. For this purpose hydrophilic and hydrophobic surfaces were created on one side of 1cm x 1cm double-side polished silicon substrates. A resistive heating layer was applied on the opposite side of each substrate. The surface energies of the created surfaces were characterized by measuring the static contact angles of water sessile drops. To provide a wide range of surface energies, surfaces were made of Teflon (hydrophobic), bare silicon (hydrophilic) and aluminum oxide (most hydrophilic). The measured contact angles on these surfaces were ~108, ~57 and ~13 degrees respectively. The results of pool boiling tests on these surfaces clearly illustrate the connection between surface energy and CHF. CHF was shown to linearly decrease with contact angle increase, from ~125 W/cm2 on aluminum oxide (most hydrophilic) to nearly one tenth of this value on Teflon (hydrophobic). The most hydrophilic surface also produced increasingly better BHT than plain silicon and Teflon as heat flux increased. However, below ~5 W/cm2 the hydrophobic surface demonstrated better heat transfer due to earlier onset of nucleate boiling, reducing surface superheats by up to ~5 degrees relative to the other two surfaces. Above ~5 W/cm2 the BHT of the hydrophobic surface rapidly deteriorated as superheat increased towards the value at CHF. To further understand the effect of surface energy on pool boiling performance, the growth and departure of bubbles from single nucleating sites on each surface were analyzed from high-speed video recordings. A distinct bubble behavior was observed in the hydrophobic surface where bubble growth and departure period was extremely long compared to plain silicon and aluminum oxide surfaces.This study also investigated the performance of thin-film evaporative cooling for near-junction thermal management. A liquid delivery system capable of delivering water in small volumes ranging 20~75 nl at frequencies of up to 600 Hz was established. On one side of the silicon chip, a resistive heating layer of 2 mm x 2 mm was fabricated to emulate the high heat flux hot-spot, and on the other side a superhydrophilic nanoporous coating (SHNC) was applied over an area of 1 cm x 1 cm. With the aid of the nanoporous coating, delivered droplets spread into thin films of thicknesses less than 10µm. With this system, evaporative tests were conducted in ambient in an effort to maximize dryout heat flux and evaporative heat transfer coefficient. During the tests, heat flux at the hot spot was varied to values above 1000 W/cm2. Water was delivered at either given constant frequency (constant mass flow rate) or at programmed variations of frequency (variable mass flow rate), for a given nanoliter dose volume. Heat flux and hot spot surface temperatures were recorded upon reaching steady state at each applied heat flux increment. Relative to bare silicon surface, dryout heat flux of the SHNC surface was found to increase by ~5 times at 500~600 Hz. Tests were also conducted at various system pressures and temperatures in a micro-gap to emulate the actual embedded thermal management system. The micro-gap was made by positioning a top cover plate 500 µm above the test surface. System temperature did not influence the hotspot temperature. This was due to the formation of near saturation temperature inside the micro-gap for all cases as a result of vapor accumulation. Increase in system pressure increased the hotspot temperature. At 1500 W/cm2, hotspot temperature increased by 6oC and 24oC by increasing the system pressure by 7.32 and 14.7 psi respectively. This was due to increase in saturation point as a result of increase in pressure.On the SHNC surface a mixed mode of heat transfer comprising of thin-film boiling and thin-film evaporation was observed particularly at moderate heat flux (~700 W/cm2). To further enhance the heat transfer coefficient, aluminum microporous coating was developed that increased the number of nucleation sites for thin-film boiling and also maintained the wettability for thin-film evaporation at higher heat fluxes. Test results showed a marginal improvement in dry-out heat flux compared to SHNC, however, significant reduction was achieved in hot-spot temperature at all heat flux levels. A net reduction of ~ 58oC was obtained at ~1600 W/cm2 by using aluminum based microporous coating.


Aerospace Engineering | Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington