Remarkable thermal performance enhancement of micro heat pipes with graphene-nanoplatelet nano-wicks

Jie Sheng Gan, Yew Mun Hung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The ultrafast water permeation property of graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) synergically enhances the evaporation and water circulation processes in a micro heat pipe (MHP). An MHP is a promising phase-change heat-transfer device capable of transferring large amounts of heat energy efficiently. The hydrophobic, atomically smooth carbon walls of GNPs nanostructures provide a network of nanocapillaries that allows water molecules to intercalate frictionlessly among the graphene layers. Together with the attraction force of the oxygenated functional groups, a series of hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces are formed that significantly improve the water circulation rate. The intercalation of water molecules encourages the formation of water-thin film for film-wise evaporation. The effect of nano-wick thickness on the thermal performance of the MHP is investigated. A thinner GNP nano-wick is more favorable to film-wise evaporation while a thicker nano-wick promotes a higher water circulation rate from the condenser to the evaporator, leading to the existence of an optimal thickness. By benchmarking with the uncoated MHP, the thermal conductance of an MHP with a 46.9-µm GNP nano-wick manifests a maximum enhancement of 128%. This study provides insights on the feasible implementation of GNP nano-wicks into a highly efficient micro-scale electronics cooling device for environmental sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number232
Number of pages18
JournalNanomaterials
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • film-wise evaporation
  • graphene nanoplatelets
  • micro heat pipe
  • ultrafast water permeation

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