An improved planar heat pipe wick structure having projections formed by micromachining processes. The projections form arrays of interlocking, semi-closed structures with multiple flow paths on the substrate. The projections also include overhanging caps at their tops to increase the capillary pumping action of the wick structure. The capped projections can be formed in stacked layers. Another layer of smaller, more closely spaced projections without caps can also be formed on the substrate in between the capped projections. Inexpensive materials such as Kovar can be used as substrates, and the projections can be formed by electrodepositing nickel through photoresist masks.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with Government support under Contract DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.