Stuck on “Nanoglue”
Rensselaer researchers recently developed a new method to bond materials that don’t normally stick together. The super-sticky adhesive is based on self-assembling nanoscale chains and could impact everything from next-generation computer chip manufacturing to energy production.
The nanoglue is inexpensive to make and its molecular bonds strengthen when exposed to heat, allowing the adhesive to withstand extremely high temperatures, according to Ganapathiraman Ramanath, professor of materials science and engineering, who led the research.
Researchers have recently found nanolayers molecular chains with a carbon backbone ending with appropriate elements such as silicon, oxygen, or sulfur to be useful for creating adhesives, lubricants, and protective surface coatings.
The nanolayers, however, are extremely susceptible to heat and begin to degrade or detach from a surface when exposed to temperatures above 400 degrees Celsius, a limitation which has precluded widespread use.