Mircroscale Ion Wind Engine

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For portable electronics, chip-integrated micro-cooling systems offer the greatest flexibility in designing the thermal management approach for a system. Air cooling is the most attractive cooling option due to lower implementation costs. Microscale ion wind engines offer the attractive ability to cool on-chip hot spots by enhancing forced air convection. Currently, cooling of integrated circuits is achieved by moving heat away from the chip via a heat spreader and heat sink and then cooling the heat sink through forced convection. However, as integrated circuits become smaller, cooling requirements are more stringent.

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a microscale ion wind engine that overcomes the most challenging technical difficulties in ion wind generation; the neutralization of ions, which adversely affects the strength of the ionic wind generated and its potential heat transfer benefits. This enables more efficient and effective operation. By eliminating surfaces in the vicinity of the electrodes and ion transport, this new microscale ion wind engine ensures optimal flow disruption and heat transfer enhancement.

-Lower implementation costs
-Prevents ion neutralization
-Enhanced force convection cooling of integrated circuit chips
-Ability to cool on-chip hot spots

Potential Applications:
-Electronics Industry
Feb 16, 2007
Utility Patent
United States
Jun 9, 2009
Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
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