Description:

INV-15112

Background

Standard systems and methods for conducting and sealing include polymer adhesive, swage, solder, or thermal grease. However, polymer adhesives cannot meet the need for oxygen and moisture permeability of many applications. Even if the initial permeability of the polymer is sufficient, overtime the polymer is degraded, and the leak rate will be too high. Soldering often requires temperatures that are too high for the component; in the case of using low-temperature solders, the heating of organic semiconductors goes beyond its glass transition temperature and decreases its performance and lifetime. Thermal greases, which are used to make thermal contact between heat sink and processor, have poor conductivity and little strength. Opposed to the aforementioned methods, welding has been introduced as a superior method in fabricating process and is used in every small or large industry with a wide variety of applications. 

Welding is economic and efficient with applications that include air, space, and underwater. Optimizing temperatures in the welding process is important since high temperatures affect the conductivity and adhesive properties of the surface. Low temperature welding methods are needed to overcome the limitations of current bonding methods. 

Technology Overview

Researchers at Northeastern introduced a new welding method in which a series of metallic thin film and nanorod arrays are deposited on the surface through vacuum metallization. The surfaces may be metallic or polymeric, and can be smooth, flat, or curved with other matching‑ mating surfaces. 

Bonding takes place at room temperature or below and under low mechanical pressure without requiring external heating or power source. The seal is created through the melting of metals, which form a eutectic alloy, and are attached to two mating surfaces. The bond is hermetic, mechanically strong, highly thermally conductive, and possibly electrically conductive or electrically insulative. This feature enables the bond to be used near heat-sensitive components, like in electronics and medical equipment. This invention can be more reliably used than thermal grease, metal epoxy, and soldering due to its higher strength and heat transfer properties. 

Benefits

  • Requires no electricity, heat, or shielding gases that are required in conventional welding or soldering
  • Requires less heat and pressure than current nanorod bonding technologies
  • High thermal conductivity compared to current thermal greases
  • Usable near heat-sensitive electronics, unlike conventional welding or soldering

Applications

  • Computers and other electrical devices
  • Flexible electronics 
  • Organic solar cells and organic light-emitting bodies 
  • Low-temperature welding services

Opportunity

  • License
  • Partnering
  • Research collaboration
Patent Information:
Category(s):
-Method
-Materials
For Information, Contact:
Dormant Physical
Northeastern University
 
Inventors:
Hanchen Huang
Paul Elliott
Stephen Stagon
Keywords: