When there is a need for an electrical component, like a capacitor, for example, to be attached to a circuit board, typically the technique of soldering is used. In the example of capacitors, this process involves using a hot soldering gun to melt some solder to be used as metal filler around the leads extending from the capacitor into a joint on the circuit board.
Alternatively, in instances where two metal pipes, for example, are to be permanently attached together, a process called welding is employed. Wire welding may be used to adjoin the two metal pipes in the aforementioned example, or the technique of stick welding may be utilized to achieve the same result. Regardless of the exact welding technique used, in either case, there is the need to reach extremely high temperatures during the welding process in order to successfully and permanently attach the two metal pipes together.
It was along the lines of the safety precautions that must be taken into place when working with such high temperatures. This helped Professor Huang and Paul from Northeastern University and a few other professors to develop this metal glue.
MesoGlue consists of many, small, metallic nanorods with metal cores that are coated on one side with the element gallium and with the element indium on the other. They are arranged like ‘teeth’ along a ‘comb’, with both a top ‘comb’ and a bottom ‘comb’. The ‘teeth’ are then interlaced and when gallium and indium both come into contact with each other, a liquid is formed. It’s the metal core of the nanorods which change that liquid state into a solid state, and the resultant glue is formed. This metal glue has the same electrical and thermal conductance of a metal bond.
Perhaps the greatest aspect to MesoGlue is that it can be used in a similar manner as any other typical glue adhesive. There is generally no need for extremely high temperatures to achieve the bond. In fact, many successful bonds can be made at room temperature and also with only a minimal amount of pressure applied.
MesoGlue can also be utilized to adhere two substances that don’t usually join together well, like metal and glass. It is able to achieve this because of the chemical reaction that occurs between the elements gallium and indium that are a part of MesoGlue. Traditional polymer glues have a difficult time achieving this, and that’s why they are typically only used in applications where two similar substances are to be joined together.
Another application in which MesoGlue really demonstrates potential is in supplanting the thermal compound that is traditionally used between a heatsink and a processor. Thermal compound tends to dry out after time. This is not a problem that exists with MesoGlue and thus, the longevity of a processor’s lifespan is extended quite significantly when MesoGlue is used in this application, instead.
Before this metallic glue really become commercialized, you might still need a soldering station to solder the electronics components. So, I guess that our site will stay relevant until then..