Constructal trees : micro-fabrication techniques and experimental methodology
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This report discusses the use of micro-fabrication techniques for creating experimental test sections containing trees of micro-finned conducting pathways, also referred to as constructal trees, for cooling a heat generating substrate. These trees are made of copper and contain branches that bifurcate at 90° angles to form constructal patterns. The patterns for the finalized test sections were created using photolithography techniques, and copper was deposited via thermal evaporation onto a 1 cm² substrate to create the trees. Certain test section design parameters were varied including the geometric complexity of the constructal trees, the volume of copper used between tree complexities, choice of material for the substrate, and the height, or thickness, of the trees. Also described in this report is an experimental methodology and testing apparatus designed to assess the cooling performance of the test sections. This methodology includes using controlled uniform heating applied to the bottom of each test section, while cooled nitrogen is impinged on the tip of the constructal tree to create a heat sink.