We report an experimental investigation of a novel, high performance ultrathin manifold microchannel heat sink. The heat sink consists of impinging liquid slot-jets on a structured surface fed with liquid coolant by an overlying two-dimensional manifold. We developed a fabrication and packaging procedure to manufacture prototypes by means of standard microprocessing. A closed fluid loop for precise hydrodynamic and thermal characterization of six different test vehicles was built. We studied the influence of the number of manifold systems, the width of the heat transfer microchannels, the volumetric flow rate, and the pumping power on the hydrodynamic and thermal performance of the heat sink. A design with 12.5 manifold systems and 25 /xm wide microchannels as the heat transfer structure provided the optimum choice of design parameters. For a volumetric flow rate of 1.3 l/min we demonstrated a total thermal resistance between the maximum heater temperature and fluid inlet temperature of 0.09 cm2 K/W with a pressure drop of 0.22 bar on a 2×2 cm2 chip. This allows for cooling power densities of more than 700 W/ cm2 for a maximum temperature difference between the chip and the fluid inlet of 65 K. The total height of the heat sink did not exceed 2 mm, and includes a 500 μm thick thermal test chip structured by 300 μm deep microchannels for heat transfer. Furthermore, we discuss the influence of elevated fluid inlet temperatures, allowing possible reuse of the thermal energy, and demonstrate an enhancement of the heat sink cooling efficiency of more than 40% for a temperature rise of 50 K. © 2010 by ASME.