This paper reports the optimal geometry of an array of fins that minimizes the thermal resistance between the substrate and the flow forced through the fins. The flow regime is laminar. Two fin types are considered: round pin fins, and staggered parallel-plate fins. The optimization of each array proceeds in two steps: The optimal fin thickness is selected in the first step, and the optimal thickness of the fluid channel is selected in the second. The pin-fin array is modeled as a Darcy-flow porous medium. The flow past each plate fin is in the boundary layer regime. The optimal design of each array is described in terms of dimensionless groups. It is shown that the minimum thermal resistance of plate-fin arrays is approximately half of the minimum thermal resistance of heat sinks with continuous fins and fully developed laminar flow in the channels.

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