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 14, 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 14, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) U.S. firms worry they’re falling behind in the marketplace as the FAA considers how to regulate commercial drones. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) Winners of a contest for smart gun design are asking not to be named after others in the industry received threats for marketing similar products. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Have Captured The Sound Of An Atom

Scientists Have Captured The Sound Of An Atom

Newsy (Sep. 12, 2014) Scientists have captured the sound of a single atom by measuring its vibrations. We can't hear it, but it's reportedly the faintest sound possible. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Flare Surges Off Sun

Solar Flare Surges Off Sun

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 11, 2014) NASA captures video of a significant flare surging off the sun. Jillian Kitchener 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:
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