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MesoGlue was founded by Huang and two of his PhD stu­dents. They had a dream of a better way of sticking things together.

Those "things" are every­thing from a computer's cen­tral pro­cessing unit and a printed cir­cuit board to the glass and metal fil­a­ment in a light bulb. The "way" of attaching them is, aston­ish­ingly, a glue made out of metal that sets at room tem­per­a­ture and requires very little pres­sure to seal. "It's like welding or sol­dering but without the heat," says Huang, who is pro­fessor and chair in the Depart­ment of Mechan­ical and Indus­trial Engineering.

In a new paper, pub­lished in the Jan­uary issue of Advanced Mate­rials & Processes, Huang and col­leagues, including North­eastern doc­toral stu­dent Paul Elliott, describe their latest advances in the glue's devel­op­ment. Our curiosity was piqued: Sol­dering with no heat? We asked Huang to elaborate.

On new devel­op­ments in the com­po­si­tion of the metallic glue

"Both 'metal' and 'glue' are familiar terms to most people, but their com­bi­na­tion is new and made pos­sible by unique prop­er­ties of metallic nanorods--infinitesimally small rods with metal cores that we have coated with the ele­ment indium on one side and galium on the other. These coated rods are arranged along a sub­strate like angled teeth on a comb: There is a bottom 'comb' and a top 'comb.' We then inter­lace the 'teeth.' When indium and galium touch each other, they form a liquid. The metal core of the rods acts to turn that liquid into a solid. The resulting glue pro­vides the strength and thermal electrical con­duc­tance of a metal bond. We recently received a new pro­vi­sional patent for this devel­op­ment through North­eastern University."

Read More: Sciencedaily

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