Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Optical Information Materials and Technology & Institute of Electronic Paper Displays, South China Academy of Advanced Optoelectronics, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006, China. [Email]
Advanced thermal management methods have been the key issues for the rapid development of the electronic industry following Moore's law. Droplet-based microfluidic cooling technologies are considered as promising solutions to conquer the major challenges of high heat flux removal and nonuniform temperature distribution in confined spaces for high performance electronic devices. In this paper, we review the state-of-the-art droplet-based microfluidic cooling methods in the literature, including the basic theory of electrocapillarity, cooling applications of continuous electrowetting (CEW), electrowetting (EW) and electrowetting-on-dielectric (EWOD), and jumping droplet microfluidic liquid handling methods. The droplet-based microfluidic cooling methods have shown an attractive capability of microscale liquid manipulation and a relatively high heat flux removal for hot spots. Recommendations are made for further research to develop advanced liquid coolant materials and the optimization of system operation parameters.