Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 10-3-2019

Publication Title

Nanoscale and Microscale Thermophysical Engineering


Mechanical & Industrial Engineering


This paper presents the fabrication, testing, and modeling of an array of composite copper-carbon nanotubes (Cu-CNT) micropillars as a wick structure for potential application in passive phase-change cooling systems. This novel wick structure has a larger spacing at the base of the micropillars to provide a higher liquid permeability and mushroom-like structures on the top surface of the micropillars with a smaller spacing to provide a greater capillary pressure. The composite Cu-CNT micropillars were fabricated by an electrochemical deposition method on a patterned copper template. Cauliflower-like nanostructures were then grown on the top surface of the micropillars using chronoamperometry technique to improve the capillary pressure and thermal performance of the wick structure. After successful fabrication of the micropillars, a series of tests were conducted to quantify the thermal performance of the wick structures. The results demonstrate superior thermal and corrosion performances for composite Cu-CNT micropillars compared to those of copper micropillars. Additionally, a thermal resistance network analysis was conducted to model the thermal performance of the fabricated mushroom-shaped micropillar array. Model predictions were compared with the experimental results and good agreement was observed.