Research findings by two engineering assistant professors show up to an additional 14.4°F (8°C) reduction in chip temperature when a one percent volume fraction of alumina-in-water nanofluid was used as the coolant in a liquid-cooling loop in place of deionized water. The research also looked at alumina-in-water at a 2 percent and 5 percent volume fraction, but the decrease in junction temperature was much smaller.

Dr. Jessica Townsend, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and Dr. Rebecca J. Christianson, assistant professor of applied physics, both teaching at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Mass., published a paper on their liquid-cooling research titled “Nanofluid Properties and Their Effects on Convective Heat Transfer in an Electronics Cooling Application."

The importance of their research plays out in finding ways to improve the performance of cold plates and heat exchangers to handle ever higher high heat load densities for electronics cooling.

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