/Redox driven cooling: A new paradigm for chip cooling?

Redox driven cooling: A new paradigm for chip cooling?

PhD - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Exploring a novel approach for chip cooling

Power dissipation from transistors continuously increases as transistors are scaled. Therefore, new solutions for effective and continuous chip cooling are required to cope with increasing heat generation in chips for high performance computing. A variety of cooling methods have been explored in the past. Conventional solutions realize cooling through combining heat exchangers attached to the chip backside. These are all interconnected with thermal interface materials (TIM) that create a fixed thermal resistance that can’t be overcome by introducing more efficient cooling solutions.

In this research topic, you will explore a new concept for a miniaturized electrochemically driven cooling system comprising an electrochemical cooling cell. Two mechanisms ensure effective heat dissipation: (1) endothermic redox reactions at the electrode/catholyte and electrode/anolyte interfaces which accelerate heat flow across the interface, and (2) the advection of the electrolyte to transport heat within the electrolyte solution away from the hot surface. Both processes simultaneously contribute to dissipation of heat from the chip. However, Joule heating in the bulk of the electrode and electrolyte, as well as charge transfer resistance losses at the interfaces constitute a undesired source of heating. The main challenge will be overcoming deviations from the theoretical maximum cooling efficiency, linked to reaction activation energies and internal losses. As part of the research, a miniaturized cell with low internal and charge transfer resistance will be designed to minimize Joule heating.  The anolyte and catholyte will be selected for maximum redox driven heat transfer.

For this topic, you will join the Electrochemical Storage & Conversion team in IMEC, Leuven and have access to the state-of-the-art facilities for fabrication and characterization of the cooling cell.  

Required background: Engineering Science, Chemistry, or Physics

Type of work: 10% literature and technological study, 30% simulation and 60% experimental characterization

Supervisor: Philippe Vereecken

Daily advisor: Louis De Taeye

The reference code for this position is 2024-110. Mention this reference code on your application form.

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