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Researchers' Metallic Glue May Stick It to Soldering and Welding.

TEHRAN (FNA)- Experts in nanotechnology developed a glue that binds metal to metal to glass to you-name-it, sets at room temperature, and requires little pressure to seal.

Per haps no startup was launched for a more intriguing reason than that of Northeastern's Hanchen Huang. From the com pany website:

"MesoGlue was founded by Huang and two of his PhD stu dents: They had a dream of a better way of sticking things together."

Those "things" are every thing from a computer's cen tral pro cessing unit and a printed cir cuit board to the glass and metal fil a ment in a light bulb. The "way" of attaching them is, aston ish ingly, a glue made out of metal that sets at room tem per a ture and requires very little pres sure to seal. "It's like welding or sol dering but without the heat," says Huang, who is pro fessor and chair in the Depart ment of Mechan ical and Indus trial Engineering.

In a new paper, pub lished in the Jan uary issue of Advanced Mate rials & Processes, Huang and col leagues, including North eastern doc toral stu dent Paul Elliott, describe their latest advances in the glue's devel op ment. Our curiosity was piqued: Sol dering with no heat? We asked Huang to elaborate.

On new devel op ments in the com po si tion of the metallic glue:

"Both 'metal' and 'glue' are familiar terms to most people, but their com bi na tion is new and made pos sible by unique prop er ties of metallic nanorods--infinitesimally small rods with metal cores that we have coated with the ele ment indium on one side and galium on the other. These coated rods are arranged along a sub strate like angled teeth on a comb: There is a bottom 'comb' and a top 'comb.' We then inter lace the 'teeth.' When indium and galium touch each other, they form a liquid. The metal core of the rods acts to turn that liquid into a solid. The resulting glue pro vides the strength and thermal/?electrical con duc tance of a metal bond. We recently received a new pro vi sional patent for this devel op ment through North eastern University."

On the spe cial prop er ties of the metallic glue:

"The stan dard polymer glue does not func tion at high tem per a tures or high pres sures, but the metallic glue does. The stan dard glue is not a great con ductor of heat and/?or elec tricity, but the metallic glue is. Fur ther more, the stan dard glue is not very resis tant to air or gas leaks, but the metallic glue is.

"'Hot' processes like sol dering and welding can result in metallic con nec tions that are sim ilar to those pro duced with the metallic glue, but they cost much more. In addi tion, the high tem per a ture nec es sary for these processes has dele te rious effects on neigh boring com po nents, such as junc tions in semi con ductor devices. Such effects can speed up failure and not only increase cost but also prove dan gerous to users."

What are some appli ca tions of the technology?

"The metallic glue has mul tiple appli ca tions, many of them in the elec tronics industry. As a heat con ductor, it may replace the thermal grease cur rently being used, and as an elec trical con ductor, it may replace today's sol ders. Par tic ular prod ucts include solar cells, pipe fit tings, and com po nents for com puters and mobile devices."

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Publication:FARS News Agency
Date:Jan 11, 2016
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