Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New materials could replace costly gold in electrical applications

Date:
October 15, 2010
Source:
University of Connecticut
Summary:
Researchers have modeled and developed new classes of materials with contact properties near those of pure gold. With the price of gold currently hovering around $1,340 per ounce, manufacturers across the globe are scrambling for alternatives to the costly noble metals that are widely used in electronic applications, including gold, platinum, rhodium, palladium and silver.

Researchers at the University of Connecticut, partnering with United Technologies Research Center engineers, have modeled and developed new classes of alloy materials for use in electronic applications that will reduce reliance on costly gold and other precious metals.

The research appears online in the October 12th issue of the journal Applied Physics Letters.

With the price of gold currently hovering around $1,340 per ounce, manufacturers across the globe, including Connecticut's United Technologies Corporation (UTC), are scrambling for alternatives to the costly noble metals that are widely used in electronic applications, including gold, platinum, rhodium, palladium and silver. What makes these metals attractive is their combination of excellent conductivity paired with resistance to oxidation and corrosion. Finding less costly but equally durable and effective alternatives is an important aim.

Mark Aindow and S. Pamir Alpay, UConn professors of materials science and engineering, and Joseph Mantese, a UTRC Fellow, have developed new classes of materials that behave much like gold and its counterparts when exposed to the oxidizing environments that degrade traditional base metals. Their research was funded by a grant from the U.S. Army Research Office.

The team has investigated nickel, copper and iron -- inexpensive materials that may offer promise. Based on their research, they have laid out the theory and demonstrated experimentally the methodology for improving the electrical contact resistance of these base metals. Aindow said, "We used a combination of theoretical analysis to select the appropriate constituents, and materials engineering at the atomic level to create designer materials."

The researchers synthesized various alloys, using inexpensive base metals. Higher conductivity native oxide scales can be achieved in these alloys through one of three processes: doping to enhance carrier concentration, inducing mixed oxidation states to give electron/polaron hopping, and/or phase separation for conducting pathways.

Their work has demonstrated an improvement in contact resistance of up to one-million-fold over that for pure base metals, so that base metal contacts can now be prepared with contact properties near those of pure gold.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Connecticut. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Aindow, S. P. Alpay, Y. Liu, J. V. Mantese, B. S. Senturk. Base metal alloys with self-healing native conductive oxides for electrical contact materials. Applied Physics Letters, 2010; 97 (15): 152103 DOI: 10.1063/1.3499369

Cite This Page:

University of Connecticut. "New materials could replace costly gold in electrical applications." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101014083122.htm>.
University of Connecticut. (2010, October 15). New materials could replace costly gold in electrical applications. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101014083122.htm
University of Connecticut. "New materials could replace costly gold in electrical applications." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101014083122.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins