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Evaporative Cooling in Microfluidic Channels

Research Area: Microfluidics/Biomedical Year: 2006
Type of Publication: Article Keywords: evaporation, cooling, microfluidics, soft lithography, refrigerants
Authors: George Maltezos; Aditya Rajagopal; Axel Scherer
Journal: Applied Physics Letters Volume: 89
Number: 7 Pages: 074107
Month: August
Evaporative cooling is an effective and energy efficient way to rapidly remove heat from a system. Specifically, evaporative cooling in microfluidic channels can provide a cost-effective solution for the cooling of electronic devices and chemical reactors. Here we present microfluidic devices fabricated by using soft-lithography techniques to form simple fluidic junctions between channels carrying refrigerant and channels carrying N2 gas. The effects of channel geometry and delivery pressure on the performance of refrigeration through vaporization of acetone, isopropyl alcohol, and ethyl ether were characterized. By varying gas inlet pressures, refrigerants, and angles of the microfluidic junctions, optimal cooling conditions were found. Refrigeration rates in excess of 40 °C/s were measured, and long lasting subzero cooling in the junction could be observed.
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