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Rensselaer Research Review Spring 2007 * Feature Articles Awards & Grants Recent Patents Accolades
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Inexpensive "Nanoglue" Can Bond Nearly Anything Together
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Adhesive 'Nanoglue' Can Bond Nearly Anything Together

A new method allows a self-assembled molecular nanolayer to become a powerful nanoglue by “hooking” together any two surfaces that normally don't stick well.

By Michael Mullaney

A team led by materials science and engineering professor Ganapathiraman Ramanath has developed a new method to bond materials that don’t normally stick together. The adhesive, which is based on self-assembling nanoscale chains, could impact everything from next-generation computer chip manufacturing to energy production.

Less than a nanometer — or one billionth of a meter — thick, the nanoglue is inexpensive to make and can withstand temperatures far higher than what was previously envisioned. In fact, the adhesive’s molecular bonds strengthen when exposed to heat.

The glue material is already commercially available, but the research team’s method of treating the glue to dramatically enhance its “stickiness” and heat resistance is completely new. The project was featured in the May 17 issue of the journal Nature.

Like many key scientific discoveries, Ramanath and his team happened upon the novel, heat-hardened nanoglue by accident.

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