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October 15th, 2008
Researchers have invented a nanotube-based dry adhesive that they propose using instead of solder to assemble components on circuit boards. The adhesive, which has very high electrical and thermal conductivity, models its sticking power on the foot of the gecko lizard. It works without heat or solvents, permitting use in the vacuum environments used to make chips and in space.
"This will be useful to put electronic components together because the nanotubes have very high thermal conductivity," said professor Liming Dai at Ohio's University of Dayton. Carbon nanotubes, which have very high electron mobility, enable the adhesive to be used to assemble chips on boards without the heat of soldering. The researchers are also experimenting with patterning the material onto chips themselves.
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