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.

Related Articles


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 April 20, 2015 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 April 20, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, April 20, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Humanoid Robot Can Recognise and Interact With People

Humanoid Robot Can Recognise and Interact With People

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 20, 2015) An ultra-realistic humanoid robot called &apos;Han&apos; recognises and interprets people&apos;s facial expressions and can even hold simple conversations. Developers Hanson Robotics hope androids like Han could have uses in hospitality and health care industries where face-to-face communication is vital. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Drones and Health Apps at Santiago's "Robotics Day"

Drones and Health Apps at Santiago's "Robotics Day"

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) Latin American robotics experts gather in Santiago, Chile for "Robotics Day". Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japan Humanoid Robot Receives Customers at Department Store

Japan Humanoid Robot Receives Customers at Department Store

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) She can smile, she can sing and she can give you guidance at one of the most upscale department stores in Tokyo...a female-looking humanoid makes her debut as a receptionist Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pee-Power Toilet to Light Up Disaster Zones

Pee-Power Toilet to Light Up Disaster Zones

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 20, 2015) Students and staff are being asked to use a prototype urinal to &apos;donate&apos; urine to fuel microbial fuel cell (MFC) stacks that generate electricity to power lighting. The developers hope the pee-power technology will light toilet cubicles in refugee camps, where women are often at risk of assault in poorly lit sanitation areas. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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