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Proceedings of ICNMM2006

Fourth International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels and Minichannels

4

th

Proceedings of ASME ICNMM2006

International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels and Minichannels

June 19-21, 2006, Limerick, Ireland

June 19-21, 2006, Limerick, Ireland

ICNMM2006-96121

Paper No. ICNMM2006-96121

A REVIEW OF MANUFACTURING PROCESSES FOR MICROCHANNEL HEAT EXCHANGER FABRICATION

Sean Ashman Mechanical Engineering Department, swa8858@rit.edu

Abstract

This paper provides a summary of the types of manufacturing processes currently being used in the fabrication of micro heat exchangers with the main focus on passages with hydraulic diameter of less than 200 micrometers. The following manufacturing processes are reviewed: LIGA, Chemical Etching, Stereolithography, and micro-machining. A comparison of different techniques related to tolerances, material compatibility, and ease of manufacturing is given. Processes capable of high volume fabrication are highlighted.

1 Introduction

Micro heat exchangers are becoming an important area of interest in many fields of developing technology that require compact high heat energy removal solutions. Fields such as MEMS, microelectronics, biomedical, fuel processing, and aerospace are all pushing the limits of thermal control and are finding ways to make smaller devices with higher heat flux potential – requiring more efficient smaller heat exchangers to cool their key working components.

As these advances push the envelope of available fabrication technologies, it is also important for the technology of cooling solutions like micro heat exchangers to keep pace in both heat handling ability and efficient manufacturing processes. Some of the more established manufacturing process are highlighted and discussed in this paper. Summaries of basic process, common materials, sample applications, and tolerances are presented for the following processes:

Micro-Machining

Diffusion Bonding

Stereolithography

Chemical Etching

LIGA

Satish G. Kandlikar Mechanical Engineering Department, sgkeme@rit.edu

2 Processes

Table 1 is a compilation from several heat-exchanger studies. It is sorted first by the manufacturing process and second by channel hydraulic diameter, starting with the smallest and going up. It provides a reference for what is possible with the different types of manufacturing processes and what types of channel sizes have been achieved.

2.1 Micro-Machining

Micro-machining is the most diverse category of manufacturing processes available for micro heat exchangers as it covers any technique in which tools are used to cut, bond, form, deform, or remove material for the purpose of creation of the channels or heat exchanger assembly. The most commonly used methods in the micro-machining category are diffusion bonding and diamond tool milling/grinding. Advantages of machining are the broad range of materials that can be processed using this process. Micro-machining does not limit to materials that etch well or that are good electrical conductors but simply to materials that are soft and ductile enough to be machined.

materials that are soft and ductile enough to be machined. Figure 1 A cross sectional view

Figure 1 A cross sectional view of microchannels created with an EDM Micro-Grinding technique, channel width of of 60µm, Kämper et al. (1997).

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2.1.1 Diffusion Bonding

Diffusion bonding is a welding process by which two surfaces are bonded together under high temperature and mechanical pressure in a vacuum or non-oxygen environment (Kang and Teng, 1995, Halbritter et al. 2004, and Burger et al. 2001). The temperatures required for the process are usually 0.5 - 0.8 times the melting temperature for the material (Kang and Teng, 1995). In cases where the exchanger material is a metal this can be in the range of 500°C - 1000°C Halbritter et al., (2004). For silicon this range is roughly 950°C-1100°C (Burger et al., 2001 and Zhang et al. 2000).

It is worth noting that diffusion bonding is a secondary process

used to bond together layers into stacks which form a heat

exchanger. Common methods for channel creation prior to diffusion bonding are chemical etching or micromachining processes that form the channels.

2.2 Stereolithography

2.2.1 Overview Stereolithography is a process by which a UV light ray is scanned through a reactive liquid polymer that hardens creating

a very thin layer of solid. The solid is lowered slightly and this process is repeated, building layer after layer on top of one another tracing out the shape of the part being made. The resulting polymer structure can be formed into a ceramic through a heat curing process called pyrolysis (Carman et al., 2002). Stereolithography provides for very flexible design geometries that may not be considered with other processes such as Chemical etching or machining. Liu et al (2005) demonstrated that the stereolithography reduced prototype fabrication time from 14 hours to 1-4 hours depending on geometry complexity.

Figure 2 shows a multilayer pattern developed by Carman et al. (2002). As seen from Fig. 2, complexity of the geometry as compared to etching processes is quite dramatic – with multileveled cross-shaped patterns that could not be considered practical to manufacture from an etching standpoint.

practical to manufacture from an etching standpoint. Figure 2 Multileveled cross-shaped pattern in silicon,

Figure 2 Multileveled cross-shaped pattern in silicon, Carman et al (2002).

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2.2.2 Materials used in Stereolithography

The most common materials used for micro heat exchangers today are Silicates and Silicon Carbides. Stereolithography requires a modified chemically structured material from this norm in that it uses SiCN compounds that facilitate the UV scanning step that drives the entire process. SiCN is less resistant to combustion and is only considered thermally stable up to a temperature of 1500°C in an air environment [Carman et al (2002)].

2.3 Chemical Etching

A- Bonded Glass Plate

et al (2002)]. 2.3 Chemical Etching A- Bonded Glass Plate B- 2-layer Sandwich Design C- 4-layer

B- 2-layer Sandwich Design

Etching A- Bonded Glass Plate B- 2-layer Sandwich Design C- 4-layer Stack Design Figure 3 A-

C- 4-layer Stack Design

Plate B- 2-layer Sandwich Design C- 4-layer Stack Design Figure 3 A- A cross-sectional view of

Figure 3 A- A cross-sectional view of a bonded glass plate set- up; B- Inverted-aligned stacks of channels oriented to form enclosed channels; C- Two (or more) stacks of channel assemblies used to make a heat-exchanger , Grommol (1994).

2.3.1 Overview Chemical etching is a process by which a strong acid or base is used to remove material to shape microchannels. All examples presented here have used some kind of silicate - either Silicon Wafers (110) or Glass. The main concept behind the process is that materials with a directional material removal rate dependency are required. In the case of Silicon Wafers, material will be removed at a rate up to 600x faster in one direction than the direction perpendicular to it, making it ideal for the fabrication of rectangular micro-channels with very small cross sections [Harpole and Eninger (1991)]. The majority of research into micro heat exchangers appears to be

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done with stacks of microchannels fabricated by chemical etching in silicon with Potassium Hydroxide or Hydrogen Fluoride. After etching, wafers may be stacked together and bonded through other processes such as diffusion bonding in order to create more complex structures or simply capped with another piece of material, commonly transparent like Pyrex, in order to study flows through the channels more closely. Grommol (1994) presents several examples of micro heat exchanger passages fabricated using this method are illustrated in Fig. 3.

2.3.2 Silicon Etching

The most commonly used etching processes for the creation of microchannels in silicon are ones using KOH. Varying the concentration of the KOH or the process temperature can affect channel attributes such as roughness as seen in studies by Kang et al. (1998).

2.3.3 Materials

The most common material used for etching micro and mini channels for use in heat exchangers is Silicon. Silicon is a good conductor and has a very useful property where the etching aspect ratio can be controlled to yield up to a 600:1 channel depth versus width [Harpole and Eninger (1991)]. As can be seen in Figures 4a and 4b taken from Kang et al (1998), by varying parameters such as KOH concentration and temperature surface roughness of the etched channels can be drastically effected [Kang et al (1998)].

channels can be drastically effected [Kang et al (1998)]. Figure 4a Roughness plots of etched silicon

Figure 4a Roughness plots of etched silicon surfaces at 50°C and different KOH concentrations: A- 20%, B- 35%, C- 50%, D- 65%

2.3.4 Tolerances

Burger et al (2001) were able to achieve a channel width tolerance of +/- 0.005 mm on their channels etched to a width of 0.250 mm – about 2% of the target channel width.

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of 0.250 mm – about 2% of the target channel width. 3 Figure 4b Roughness plot

Figure 4b Roughness plot of etched silicon surfaces at 90°C

and different KOH concentrations: A - 20%, B - 35%, C - 50%,

D - 65%

2.4 LIGA

LIGA is a German acronym for “lithography, molding, and electroplating.” X-Rays are projected through a mask onto an X-ray sensitive photo-resist material that has been bonded to a conductive substrate material. The X-ray mask enables the projection to take the shape of the final desired array design. The conductive substrate and photo-resist material are then

submerged in a Nickel ion solution bath. The Nickel in solution

is electroplated onto the photo-resist material in the desired

arrangement that was set with the X-ray. The nickel structure can then be used in its own right or as a mold for other materials. This process may be repeated several times and the final products bonded together to create more complex builds. The structures in a version of a LIGA manufactured heat exchanger can be seen in Figs. 5a and 5b. This structure is referred to as a “pin fin micro heat exchangers” by the authors Marques and Kelly (2004). The pin-fin arrays in Fig. 5a and 5b were developed for the blades of gas turbine engines, which require more efficient methods of cooling as technology allows for an increase in turbine inlet temperatures.

Figures 6 and 7, from Kämper et al (1997), show a micro-mixer array and compact stack heat exchanger both manufactured with LIGA processes. The prototype in Fig. 7 consisted of 4 layers stacked opposite to each other with channels 300µm wide and 30µm apart. This is a good example of small heat exchangers with very efficient heat transfer properties used for the fast thermal control of chemical reactions.

2.4.1 Materials

The final step of the LIGA process is the electrodepostion of a metal onto the PMMA (poly methyl methacrylate) or, as in the case of Marques and Kelly (2004), Su-8 2075 structure. A common material that is used is Nickel. Nickel is relatively cheap and is easy to etch out if the final product is meant to be used as a mold for some other material. However, any material capable of being electodeposited can be used in the LIGA process [Kämper et al (1997)].

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Figure 5a Expanded view of the surface of gas turbine engine blade with micro pin-fin

Figure 5a Expanded view of the surface of gas turbine engine

blade with micro pin-fin array for increased cooling, Marques

and Kelly (2004).

array for increased cooling, Marques and Kelly (2004). Figure 5b Close up of micro pin-fin structures,

Figure 5b Close up of micro pin-fin structures, Marques and Kelly (2004).

up of micro pin-fin structures, Marques and Kelly (2004). Figure 6 A nickel micro-mixer array, Kämper

Figure 6 A nickel micro-mixer array, Kämper et al. (1997).

2.4.2 Tolerances

Moran et al (2004) were able to achieve a tolerance of +/- 0.020

mm on channel dimensions of 0.10 mm hydraulic diameter.

3. Conclusions

Micro heat exchangers are becoming more important in today’s

advancing technological fields. The ability to handle high heat

flux densities to control precise chemical reactions or cool the

high-end computer processors is becoming more and more relevant to their efficient and safe operation. Micro heat exchangers which benefit from their high surface area to volume ratios will play an important role in many fields where

thermal issues are becoming a critical problem to deal with than in the past. Manufacturing processes of today like micro machining, stereolithography, LIGA, and chemical etching will help drive the fabrication of these new micro heat exchangers as well as provide stepping stones for hopefully new and more exciting and efficient fabrication processes in the future.

exciting and efficient fabrication processes in the future. Fig 7 – Single layer of a micro-heat

Fig 7 – Single layer of a micro-heat exchanger stack, Kämper et al (1997).

4. References

Burger, J.; Holland, H.; Berenschot, E.; Seppenwoolde, J.-H.; ter Brake, M.; Gardeniers, H.; Elwenspoek, M. “169 kelvin cryogenic microcooler employing a condenser, evaporator, flow restriction and counterflow heat exchangers.” Micro Electro Mechanical Systems. The 14th IEEE International Conference on 21-25 Jan 2001. Pages 418 - 421

Carman, B.G.; Kapat, J.S.; Chow, L.C.; An, L. “Impact of a ceramic microchannel heat exchanger on a micro turbine.”

American Society of Mechanical Engineers, International Gas Turbine Institute, Turbo Expo IGTI. v 1, 2002, Pages 1053-

1060.

Freitag, A.; Dietrich, T.R.; Scholz, R.; Hessel, V. “Glass as a material for microreaction technology.” MICRO.tec 2000. VDE World Microtechnologies Congress, 2000. vol.1, pt. 1, p 355-9

Gromoll, B. “Advanced micro air-cooling systems for high density packaging.” Semiconductor Thermal Measurement and Management Symposium, 1994. SEMI-THERM X., Proceedings of 1994 IEEE/CPMT 10 th 1-3 Feb. 1994. Pages 53 – 58.

Halbritter, A.; Schygulla, U.; Wenka, A.; Schubert, K. “Comparison of numerical simulation and experimental results for crossflow and counterflow microchannel heat exchangers.” Second International Conference on Microchannels and Minichannels June 17-19, 2004, Rochester, New York, USA. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers: New York City. Pgs 967-976.

Harpole, G.M.; Eninger, J.E. “Micro-channel heat exchanger optimization.” Semiconductor Thermal Measurement and Management Symposium, 1991. SEMI-THERM VII.

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Proceedings., Seventh Annual IEEE 12-14 Feb. 1991. Pages 59

– 63.

Mechanical Engineers, Heat Transfer Division, v 331, Porous Flow Heat Transfer, 1996, p 131-136.

Harris, C.; Despa, M.; Kelly, K. “Design and fabrication of a cross flow micro heat exchanger.” Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of. Volume 9, Issue 4, Dec. 2000. Pages 502

– 508.

Harris, C.; Kelly, K.; Wang, Tao; McCandless, A.; Motakef, S. “Fabrication, modeling, and testing of micro-cross-flow heat exchangers.” Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of. Volume 11, Issue 6, Dec. 2002. Pages: 726 – 735.

Kämper, K.-P.; Ehrfeld, W.; Dopper, J.; Hessel, V.; Lehr, H.; Lowe, H.; Richter, Th.; Wolf, A. “Microfluidic components for biological and chemical microreactors.” Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, 1997. MEMS '97, Proceedings, IEEE., Tenth Annual International Workshop on 26-30 Jan. 1997. Pages 338 – 343.

Kang, S.-W. D.; Friedrich, C. R. “Fabrication of Foil-Based Micro Heat Exchanger.” Progress of cutting and grinding: with some problems in CADCAM, FMS and mechatronics: Asia- Pacific: Shanghai, China. International Academic Publishers; 1994: Pg. 691-696

Lee, Haehyung; Jeong, Yongwon; Shin, Joonghan; Kim, Songyi; Kim, Minha; Kang, Moonkoo; Chun, Kukjin. “Package embedded heat exchanger for stacked multi-chip module.” TRANSDUCERS, Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems, 12th International Conference on, 2003 Volume 2, 8-12 June 2003 Page 1080 – 1083.

Liu, H.-C.; Tsuru, H.; Cooper, A.G.; Prinz, F.B. “Rapid prototyping methods of silicon carbide micro heat exchangers.” Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture, v 219, n 7, July, 2005. p. 525-538.

Marques, C.; Kelly, K.W. “Fabrication and performance of a pin fin micro heat exchanger.” JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER-TRANSACTIONS OF THE ASME 126 (3): JUN

2004. Pages 434-444.

Moran, Matthew E.; Stelter, Stephan; Stelter, Manfred. “Micro- scale regenerative heat exchanger.” Collection of Technical Papers - CANEUS 2004 - Conference on Micro-Nano- Technologies for Aerospace Applications, 2004. p 164-169.

Kang S.W.; Chen J.S.; Hung J.Y. “Surface roughness of (110) orientation silicon based micro heat exchanger channel.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MACHINE TOOLS & MANUFACTURE. v38 (5-6): MAY-JUN 1998. Pages 663-668.

Price, D.T.; Manu, G.; Rose, K. “Silicon micromachined heat exchanger for MCMs with high temperature superconductors.” University/Government/Industry Microelectronics Symposium, 1997., Proceedings of the Twelfth Biennial 20-23 July 1997. Pages 154 – 158.

Kang, S.-W. D.; Teng, H.-Y. “Application of metal foils diffusion bonding – Fabrication of micro heat exchanger.” 8 th International precision engineering seminar Elsevier; 1995:

Pg. 451-454.

Zhang, Ling; Banerjee, S.S.; Jae-Mo Koo; Laser, D.J.; Asheghi, M.; Goodson, K.E.; Santiago, J.G.; Kenny, T.W. “A micro heat exchanger with integrated heaters and thermometers.” Technical Digest. Solid-State Sensor and Actuator Workshop,

Kuan,

Nelson.

“Experimental

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2000.

Pages 275-80.

exchangers

fabricated

in

silicon.”

American

Society

of

 

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Table 1 – Details of the micro-heat exchanger geometries studied by various investigators.

 

Channel Size

   

Author

Hydraulic Dia.

Material

Process

(m)

Harpole and Eninger (1991)

0.028e-3

Silicon

Etching (KOH)

Kang et al (1998)

0.067e-3

Silicon

Etching (KOH)

Price et al (1997)

0.078e-3

Silicon

Etching (KOH)

Kuan (1996)

0.1e-3

Silicon

Etching (KOH)

Burger et al. (2001)

0.25/0.53e-3

SiN

Etching (KOH/HF)

Freitag et al. (2000)

0.3-0.7e-3

Glass

Etching (HF)

Gromoll (1994)

0.32/0.64e-3

Silicon

Etching (Anisotropic)

Zhang et al. (2000)

0.05-.1e-3

Silicon

Etching (DRIE)

Liu et al. (2005)

1.09e-3

SiC

Hardened Gel Mold/StereoLithography

Carman et al. (2002)

1.32/1.39e-3

SiCN

Micro-Stereo Lithography

Moran et al. (2004)

0.10e-3

Nickel

LIGA

Harris et al. (2002)

0.2e-3

PMMA (Nickel mold)

LIGA

Harris et al. (2000)

0.15-0.25e-3

PMMA (Nickel mold)

LIGA

Kang and Friedrich (1994)

~.080e-3

Copper

Micro-Machining (Diamond)/Diffusion Bonding

Halbritter et al. (2004)

.082/.133/.2e-3

Base Metal Alloys

Micro-Machining (Milling)

Lee et al. (2003)

0.33e-3

PDMS

PDMS Molding

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