Soldering has been around for thousands of years: it’s an essential component to electronics around the world. But, there’s some limitations: high temperatures can damage delicate components. Now, some researchers think that they have come up with a solution: a room temperature, conductive glue.
Writing in the January issue of Advanced Materials and Processes, scientists from the University of North Florida and Northeastern University describe a process in which they can join two metals together at room temperature, which “feature the combined advantages of the ambient condition of gluing and the superior properties of the joint from high temperature soldering (or welding and brazing), making them beneficial to many advanced technologies.”
They explain how this process works in a video:
The process involves engineered nanorods, which interlock. As they lock together, a shell liquefies and bonds the two sides together. The result is a connected surface that can withstand higher temperatures.
Will this replace soldering? Maybe, but as Motherboard points out, lead is still abundantly cheap, and an expensive process probably won’t take off for anything but extremely specialised components.
Image credit: Monika Wisniewska / Shuttershock