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Ken Goodson is the Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs in the School of Engineering. As Mechanical Engineering Chair & Vice Chair (2008-2019), he led two strategic plans and recruited 15 faculty who transformed the department's scholarship and diversity. Goodson specializes in heat transfer and electronics cooling. His lab pioneered phonon free path measurements, helped IC firms launch SOI and PCRAM, and has a long track record of translating breakthrough cooling science to companies. He's a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow with ASME, IEEE, APS, AAAS, and the National Academy of Inventors. He received the ASME Kraus Medal, the inaugural IEEE Richard Chu Award, the AIChE Kern Award, the SRC Aristotle Award, and the Heat Transfer Memorial Award. His PhD alums include dozens at IC firms and 20+ Professors at MIT, UC Berkeley, and other schools. Goodson has 35 patents and co-founded Cooligy, which built heat sinks for Apple and was acquired by Emerson.Goodson moonlights as a baritone oratorio soloist with appearances at Davies Symphony Hall and Bing Concert Hall. His wife, Laura Dahl, is a concert pianist with the Stanford music faculty.
We’re developing revolutionary microfluidic heat sinks with 3D manifolding, two-phase flow, and conformal copper inverse opal coatings to dramatically reduce pressure drop and thermal resistance, and sharing the learnings gained by working on these two critical societal applications. This work is collaborative with NREL and UC Merced, and we appreciate years of continued mentorship and support from Toyota and Google.
The NSF Center for Power Optimization of ElectroThermal Systems (POETS), of which we are a founding member, is pushing the boundaries for power electronics. Minimizing the packaging volume (and cost) is a critical deliverable for successful integration, effective power and heat management, and overall efficiency. Here we are developing innovative heat sink approaches that streamline packaging while minimizing thermal resistance and fluid pressure drop.
SRC ASCENT focuses a remarkable team of researchers on the challenge of monolithically-integrated 3D logic. Heat spreading, management, and extraction are key parts of realizing 3D integration, owing to the higher density of heat generation per unit surface area. We are developing microfabricated liquid wicking and phase separation structures, as well as low-dimensional solid thermal conductors, at the limits of the relevant fluid and solid thermal physics, in order to help our EE and MatSci collaborators develop the 3D chips of the future.
Vehicle electronics offer some of the most interesting and challenging thermal management problems of our day, in terms of heat flux and cost reduction. We are taking our 3D manifolded microfluidic heat sinks to applications in this space together with engineers at Ford.
We've worked with Intel and other companies to tackle the critical heat conduction issues with phase change memory, and now we are working on the special set of problems and opportunities associated with interfaces in this technology.
Heat carrier scattering at solid interfaces is a key part of the thermal resistance and temperature rise in electronic nanostructures and modern electronic circuits. The complex geometries and the dimensions, which are comparable with electron and phonon mean free paths, have given us a rich set of problems to consider as we support the semiconductor industry in their nanoscale thermal management challenges.
Optoelectronics applications have motivated the development of a variety of microfabrication methodologies for periodic porous structures. We are leveraging these capabilities to develop breakthrough metallic wicks that can reduce thermal resistance (through-plane) while also maximizing permeability and capillary pressure and critical heat flux. Working together with Bosch will help us address power electronics for a variety of applications including vehicles.
Porous metals offer a special opportunity for thermal interfaces in electronics, because they can have relatively high thermal conductivity while being compliant to overcome thermomechanical stress. We've developed nanostructured copper extensively for microfluidic applications and are now exploring the potential for solid interfaces.
The goal of this research is to use phase-change materials (PCMs) for coherent spatial and temporal control of light in a lossless, high-speed manner, well beyond the performance of standard liquid crystal and MEMs devices today. We are using self-assembled patterning structures and novel thermal measurements to address challenges in time- and length-scale for this important new application of phase change materials.
The Nanoheat Lab studies heat transfer in electronic nanostructures, microfluidic heat sinks, and packaging, with an emphasis on basic transport physics and industrial impact. We work closely with companies on novel cooling strategies for power devices, portables, ASICs, & data centers.Current projects (see list below) include microfluidic heat sinks and vapor chambers for power electronics and 3D logic chips, also electron and phonon conduction and energy conversion in nanostructures. We collaborate with EE and MatSci experts, and current sponsors include ARPA-E, the NSF POETS Center, SRC ASCENT, Google, Toyota, Ford, Bosch, and Intel.Historically, the lab pioneered phonon free path measurements using silicon nanolayers and helped IC companies commercialize SOI transistors, PCRAM, low-k dielectric passivation, and other thermally-hard technologies. Professor Goodson has 35 patents including several that launched Cooligy, a startup that built heat sinks for Apple products and was acquired by Emerson. More recently, the Nanoheat Lab developed a record-breaking heat sink with Raytheon as part of DARPA ICECOOL, achieving low superheat using diamond channels, porous copper inverse opals, and 3D manifolding. We leveraged this progress to help UIUC launch an NSF Center for power electronics (POETS), which is an ongoing, major research catalyst for the lab.Over the decades, lab sponsorship has been split between government grants and customized corporate contracts and gifts. We tailor our research for the benefit of both companies and our PhD students. Dozens of Goodson's PhD graduates now work at IC and energy companies, and 20+ are Professors at MIT, UC Berkeley, Stanford, UIUC, Purdue, UCLA, and other schools.