Pool boiling on nano-finned surfaces
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The effect of nano-structured surfaces on pool boiling heat transfer is explored in this study. Experiments are conducted in a cubical test chamber containing fluoroinert coolant (PF5060, Manufacturer: 3M Co.) as the working fluid. Pool boiling experiments are conducted for saturation and subcooled conditions. Three different types of ordered nano-structured surfaces are fabricated using Step and flash imprint lithography on silicon substrates followed by Reactive Ion Etching (RIE) or Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE). These nano-structures consist of a square array of cylindrical nanofins with a longitudinal pitch of 1 mm, transverse pitch of 0.9 mm and fixed (uniform) heights ranging from 15 nm – 650 nm for each substrate. The contact angle of de-ionized water on the substrates is measured before and after the boiling experiments. The contact-angle is observed to increase with the height of the nano-fins. Contact angle variation is also observed before and after the pool boiling experiments. The pool boiling curves for the nano-structured silicon surfaces are compared with that of atomically smooth single-crystal silicon (bare) surfaces. Data processing is performed to estimate the heat flux through the projected area (plan area) for the nano-patterned zone as well as the heat flux through the total nano-patterned area, which includes the surface area of the fins. Maximum heat flux (MHF) is enhanced by ~120 % for the nanofin surfaces compared to bare (smooth) surfaces, under saturation condition. The pool boiling heat flux data for the three nano-structured surfaces progressively overlap with each other in the vicinity of the MHF condition. Based on the experimental data several micro/nano-scale transport mechanisms responsible for heat flux enhancements are identified, which include: “microlayer” disruption or enhancement, enhancement of active nucleation site density, enlargement of cold spots and enhancement of contact angle which affects the vapor bubble departure frequency.
Sriraman, Sharan Ram (2007). Pool boiling on nano-finned surfaces. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from