Researchers from MIT and Northwestern universities are exploring new ways to make manuscripts more durable and more versatile.
In a paper published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, MIT professor of mechanical engineering and engineering science, Michael C. Minkin, and Northwestern University professor of electrical and computer engineering, Richard G. Johnson, report on a novel method to make thin sheets of metal, called a “copper-oxide copper-copper alloy,” that is highly flexible.
“We think we have discovered a very useful new method for making durable materials,” Minkini said in a statement.
“In this work, we find that copper oxide copper-oxide is very effective at improving mechanical properties of these materials.
The properties are highly versatile, allowing the coating to be used to repair small, fragile parts.”
The research team is currently working on applying the technology to a range of materials that can be used in electronic devices and other applications.
“Copper oxide copper oxide is one of the best examples of an oxide-metal alloy that is a perfect fit for electronics,” Johnson said in the statement.
“It has high mechanical and electrical conductivity, high thermal conductivity and high resistance to abrasion and impact, which is extremely desirable for applications where high performance and reliability are critical.”
The team is working on an improved coating that could be used for industrial applications.
The paper also indicates that the coating could be applied to other materials and then re-used again, with the result that it could be coated again on a wide range of other materials.
“In general, the copper oxide coatings we’ve studied have been used to make a variety of materials, from plastics to ceramics,” Mankin said.
“It’s a very versatile material.
It can be applied for a wide variety of applications, such as for solar cells and photovoltaics.
It’s a great material to work with.
The coatings are very flexible, and it has excellent thermal conductivities, so it can be re-coated on a variety a different material.