The Use of COMSOL Multiphysics® for Studying the Fracture Pressure of Rectangular Micro-Channels Embedded in Thin Silicon Substrates

K. Howell[1], H. Georgiou[2], P. Petagna[3], G. Romagnoli[3]
[1]George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA
[2]Cyprus University of Technology (C.U.T), Limassol, Cyprus, EU
[3]CERN - The European Organization for Nuclear Research, Geneva, Switzerland, EU
Published in 2013

The thermal management of silicon detectors and related electronics through micro-structured silicon cooling plates is gaining considerable attention for high precision particle trackers. Micro-fluidic circuits are etched in a silicon wafer, which is then bonded to a second wafer to obtain a cooling circuit. Because mono-crystalline silicon is structurally close in characteristics to brittle materials, the J-integral approach and the concept of fracture toughness can be used to better understand the reliability of these devices. Samples have been fabricated with one micro-channel connected to a hydraulic inlet with different channel widths and silicon thicknesses to experimentally measure the fracture pressure. Three COMSOL Multiphysics® models have been created based on the samples and their results nicely match the experimental data.