Analytical and experimental investigation of capillary forces induced by nanopillars for thermal management applications
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This thesis presents an analytical and experimental investigation into the capillary wicking limitation of an array of pillars. Commercial and nanopillar wicks are examined experimentally to assess the effects of micro and nanoscale capillary forces. By exerting a progressively higher heat flux on the wick, a maximum achievable mass flow was observed at the capillary limit. Through the balance of capillary and viscous forces, an ab initio analytical model is also presented to support the experimental data. Comparison of the capillary limit predicted by the analytical model and actual limit observed in experimental results are presented for three baseline wicks and two nanowicks.