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Rensselaer Research Review Spring 2007 * Feature Articles Awards & Grants Recent Patents Accolades
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Taking the Heat

To make sure it wasn’t a fluke, the team recreated the test more than 50 times over the past two years. The results have been consistent, and show heating up the sandwiched nanolayer increases its interface toughness — or “stickiness” — by five to seven times. Similar toughness has been demonstrated using micrometer-thick layers, but never before with a nanometer-thick layer. A nanometer is 1,000 times smaller than a micrometer.

Because of their small size, these enhanced nanolayers will likely be useful as adhesives in a wide assortment of micro- and nanoelectronic devices where thicker adhesive layers just won’t fit.

Another unprecedented aspect of Ramanath’s discovery is that the sandwiched nanolayers continue to strengthen up to temperatures as high as 700 degrees Celsius. The ability of these adhesive nanolayers to withstand and grow stronger with heat could have novel industrial uses, such as holding paint on hot surfaces like the inside of a jet engine or a huge power plant turbine.

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Nanoglue *

Next Steps

Along with nanoscale and high heat situations, Ramanath is confident the new nanoglue will have other unforeseen uses.

Plus, the molecular glue is inexpensive — 100 grams cost about $35 — and already commercially available. The method of creating the nanoglue can definitely be scaled up to meet the low-cost demands of a large manufacturer.”

Ramanath and his team have filed a disclosure on their findings and are moving forward toward a patent, which will complement the robust portfolio of other intellectual property they hold in this field. The team is also exploring what happens when certain variables of the nanoglue are tweaked, such as making taller nanolayers or sandwiching the layers between substances other than copper and silica.

Along with Ramanath, Rensselaer materials science and engineering graduate students Darshan Gandhi and Amit Singh contributed to the paper. Other co-authors include Rensselaer physics professor Saroj Nayak and graduate student Yu Zhou, IBM researcher Michael Lane at the T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., and Ulrike Tisch and Moshe Eizenberg of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

Ramanath’s ongoing research is supported by the National Science Foundation, the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and New York state through the Interconnect Focus Center.

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Nanoglue Can Bond Nearly Anything  Page 1 | 2 | 3     Previous  
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