CHARACTERIZATION, MODELING AND DESIGN OF ULTRA-THIN VAPOR CHAMBER HEAT SPREADERS UNDER STEADY-STATE AND TRANSIENT CONDITIONS
thesisposted on 10.06.2019 by Gaurav Patankar
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This dissertation is focused on studying transport behavior in vapor chambers at ultra-thin form factors so that their use as heat spreaders can be extended to applications with extreme space constraints. Both the steady-state and transient thermal transport behaviors of vapor chambers are studied. The steady-state section presents an experimental characterization technique, methodologies for the design of the vapor chamber wick structure, and a working fluid selection procedure. The transient section develops a low-cost, 3D, transient semi-analytical transport model, which is used to explore the transient thermal behavior of thin vapor chambers: 1) The key mechanisms governing the transient behavior are identified and experimentally validated; 2) the transient performance of a vapor chamber relative to a copper heat spreader of the same external dimensions is explored and key performance thresholds are identified; and 3) practices are developed for the design of vapor chambers under transient conditions. These analyses have been tailored to ultra-thin vapor chamber geometries, focusing on the application of heat spreading in mobile electronic devices. Compared to the conventional scenarios of use for vapor chambers, this application is uniquely characterized by compact spaces, low and transient heat input, and heat rejection via natural convection.