This talk is intended to provide a perspective and review of a journey toward a flexible thermal superconductor, which can be bent or twisted, to control heat transfer in heat generating devices of various shapes. The thermal superconductor exploits recent advances in micro pulsating heat pipes, which consists of liquid-vapor slug-train units oscillating within a serpentine microchannel. It has the following characteristics: an effective thermal conductivity of 1,000 W/mK, 2.5 times higher than copper, and 5,000 times higher than current flexible materials, and a thickness of 0.6 mm. Compared to conventional pulsating heat pipes, micro pulsating heat pipes with hydraulic diameters of less than 1 mm have interesting features like orientation independent performance. In addition, several new ideas for thermal performance enhancement in the micro pulsating heat pipes will be presented. This talk will conclude with an overview of research activities associated with a prestigious 9 year grant by Korea’s Creative Research Initiative to develop Flexible and Thin Thermal Superconductors.
Sung Jin Kim is a KEPCO-endowed chair professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology). He received a Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the Ohio State University in 1989. Until joining KAIST in July 1997, he was a group leader of the Thermal Engineering Center at the IBM Laboratory in Tucson, Arizona for 8 years. His research group at KAIST held National Research Lab status for 5 years from 2006. From 2012 he was awarded a prestigious 9-year grant by Korea’s Creative Research Initiative to develop Flexible and Thin Thermal Superconductors.
He is an ASME Fellow (2005) and a member of Korean Academy of Science and Technology (2013). He has received National Medal of Science and Technology from Korean Government (2018), Scientific Achievement Award from KSME (2006), Grand Prize in Teaching Excellence (2012), Grand Prize in LINKGENESIS Best Teacher Award (2020), Grand Prize in Academic Excellence (2022) from KAIST, two Invention Achievement Awards and five Author Recognition Awards from IBM. He also served for 4 years as the president of Asian Union of Thermal Science and Engineering.