High aspect ratio microchannels using high thermal conductivity materials such as silicon carbide (SiC) have recently been explored to locally cool micro-scale power electronics that are prone to on-chip hot spot generation. Analytical and finite element modeling shows that SiC-based microchannels used for localized cooling should have high aspect ratio features (above 8:1) to obtain heat transfer coefficients (300 to 600 kW/m2·K) required to obtain gallium nitride (GaN) device channel temperatures below 100°C. This work presents experimental results of microfabricating high aspect ratio microchannels in a 4H-SiC substrate using inductively coupled plasma (ICP) etching. Depths of 90 μm and 80 μm were achieved with a 5:1 and 12:1 aspect ratio, respectively. This microfabrication process will enable the integration of microchannels (backside features) with high-power density devices such as GaN-on-SiC based electronics, as well as other SiC-based microfluidic applications.

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