In this paper we present the design, fabrication, and preliminary characterization of a MEMS thermal switch. The thermal switch operates by changing the conductive path between two silicon die by moving a dielectric liquid, such as glycerin or water, using electrowetting. The result is a bi-stable thermal switch that can change between a low thermal resistance state and a high thermal resistance state. Preliminary measurements show the switching time to be on the order of a second. Numerical modeling indicates a thermal resistance ratio of Roff/on > 25 is feasible with a power consumption in the low micro-watt range.
A Dielectric Liquid Contact Thermal Switch With Electrowetting Actuation
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McLanahan, ALR, Richards, CD, & Richards, RF. "A Dielectric Liquid Contact Thermal Switch With Electrowetting Actuation." Proceedings of the ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. Volume 7: Fluid Flow, Heat Transfer and Thermal Systems, Parts A and B. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. November 12–18, 2010. pp. 61-66. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/IMECE2010-39269
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