Enhanced boiling is one of the popular cooling schemes in thermal management due to its superior heat transfer characteristics. This study demonstrates the ability of copper inverse opal (CIO) porous structures to enhance pool boiling performance using a thin CIO film with a thickness of ∼ 10 μm and pore diameter of 5 μm. The microfabricated CIO film increases microscale surface roughness that in turn leads to more active nucleation sites thus improved boiling performance parameters such as heat transfer coefficient and critical heat flux compared to those of smooth Si surfaces. The experimental results for CIO film show a maximum critical heat flux of 225 W/cm2 (at 16.2°C superheat) or about 3 times higher than that of smooth Si surface (80 W/cm2 at 21.6°C superheat). Optical images showing bubble formation on the microporous copper surface are captured to provide detailed information of bubble departure diameter and frequency.

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