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ME381R Lecture 1 Overview of Microscale Thermal Fluid Sciences and Applications. Dr. Li Shi Department of Mechanical Engineering The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX 78712 [email protected] Microprocessor Evolution. Localized Heating in VLSI Chips.

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ME381R Lecture 1

Overview of Microscale Thermal Fluid Sciences and Applications

Dr. Li Shi

Department of Mechanical Engineering

The University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX 78712

[email protected]

Localized Heating in VLSI Chips


Mean-time-to-failure due to electromigration increase x5




Dependence of mean time between failure on temperature


1 cm

On chip temperature contour

Steve Kang et al. Electrothermal analysis of VLSI Systems, Kluwer 2000

Telecommunication Data Rate Evolution

1.00 GB Hard Drive

1.44MB Floppy Disk

Howard Banks, "Life at 100 billion bits per second", Forbes Magazine, Oct. 6, 1997

Thermal Issues in Optoelectronic Integrated Circuits

Affolter, WDM Solutions (supplement to Laser Focus World), P.65 June 2001,

A. Shakouri, J. Christofferson, Z. Bian, and P. Kozodoy, “High Spatial Resolution Thermal Imaging of Multiple Section Semiconductor Lasers,” Proceeding of Photonic Devices and System Packaging Symposium (PhoPack 2002), pp22-25, July 2002, Stanford CA.

Ic thermal management challenge
IC Thermal Management Challenge

Courtesy: Prof. Ken Goodson, DARAPA Thermal Management Workshop

Thermoelectric refrigeration

Thermoelectric Refrigeration

  • Optoelectronics

  • Electronics

  • Consumer

  • Automobile

  • No moving parts: quiet

  • No CFC: clean

  • Low efficiency

Efficient thin film thermoelectric coolers venkatasubramanian et al nature 413 p 597 2001
Efficient Thin Film Thermoelectric CoolersVenkatasubramanian et al, Nature413, P. 597 (2001)

Thin film superlattice

How far exponential growth in electronics and fiber optics can continue?

Airplane Speed- Past, Present, Future

McMasters & Cummings, Journal of Aircraft, Jan-Feb 2002

The brick wall due to heating, fabrication cost, quantum mechanics …

Future challenges & opportunities: transportation, communication, energy, health care …

Direct Thermal to Electric Energy Conversion can continue?

  • Electric power generator with no moving part

  • Power sources for NASA space probe

  • NAVY Electric Ships (Seapower 21)

  • Waste heat recovery (cars, power plants, …)

  • Microscale power sources

Efficient Nanostructured Thermoelectric Power Generator

Spacecraft Power Source

Length Scale can continue?

1 km



1 m




1 mm

Fourier’s law,


Microprocessor Module


Blood Cells

1 mm

Wavelength of Visible Light

Particle transport theories,

molecular dynamics…


Microprocessor, NEMS

100 nm

Nanotubes, Nanowires

1 nm

Width of DNA

Thermal conductivity

Fourier’s Law for Heat Conduction can continue?

Thermal conductivity

Q (heat flow)






Microscopic Origins of Thermal Fluid Transport can continue?

--The Particle Nature

MaterialsDominant energy carriers

Gases: Molecules

Metals: Electrons

Insulators: Phonons

(crystal vibration)




In micro-nano scale thermal fluid systems, often L < mean free path of collision of energy carriers & Fourier’s law breaks down

 Particle transport theories or molecular dynamics methods