Dynamic Nanofin Heat Sinks



The limitation of hot spot cooling in microchips represents an important hurdle for the electronics industry to overcome with coolers yet to exceed the efficiencies required. Nanotechnology-enabled heat sinks that can be magnetophoretically formed onto the hot spots within a microfluidic environment are presented. CrO2 nanoparticles, which are dynamically chained and docked onto the hot spots, establish tuneable high-aspect-ratio nanofins for the heat exchange between these hot spots and the liquid coolant. These nanofins can also be grown and released on demand, absorbing and releasing the heat from the hot spots into the microfluidic system. It is shown that both high aspect ratio and flexibility of the fins have a dramatic effect on increasing the heat sinking efficiency. The system has the potential to offer a practical cooling solution for future electronics.