NanoDynamics announces nanomaterial collaboration with Binghamton University to develop new and improved materials for electronics assembly
NanoDynamics™, of Buffalo, NY, a leading nanotechnology organization and manufacturer of superior nanomaterials, has announced a collaboration agreement with Binghamton University, State University of New York, to develop and implement experimental designs utilizing nanomaterials. The project will use newly developed nanomaterials developed by NanoDynamics and mix them into polymer composites, such as epoxies and acrylics, to improve the thermal and electrical properties of electronics assembly materials.
Technical support will be provided through the University’s Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence (SPIR), the new alliance will research commercial uses of nanomaterials – materials that are smaller than 100 nanometers and at the molecular level.
NanoDynamics is seeking to improve upon and commercialize carbon nanotubes (CNTs) whose properties make them potentially useful in extremely small scale electronic and mechanical applications. Nanotubes exhibit extraordinary strength, have unique electrical properties, and are efficient conductors of heat, making them particularly useful in areas such as nano-electronics, optics, and other materials applications.
NanoDynamics has already started to commercialize highly conductive silver and copper metal powders and flakes. Building upon Binghamton University’s small systems packaging expertise, the collaboration will help develop and implement experimental designs to study the thermal and electrical conductivity of polymers embedded with nanomaterials.
According to NanoDynamics, research has shown that nanomaterials containing a large number of nanoparticles can have the same electrical conductivity as larger particles, but with significantly lower weight and possibly cost.
“An important question is to determine at what level of nano-particle concentration the electrical and thermal conductivity might change and, in general, how to predictably modify the electrical and mechanical properties,” said C. Michael Mercincavage, director of the SPIR program. “Through prior SPIR sponsored projects, we have developed a strong set of skills for determining material characterization and, in this alliance, we'll be drawing from those strengths to ascertain, among other tasks, the levels of concentration at which the electrical and mechanical properties of widely used polymer materials might be beneficially changed.”
The project will explore ways to enhance the thermal properties of the composite materials by adding or reducing the number of nanoparticles in a particular matrix. Commercialization of these materials would also greatly benefit from determining how these nanomaterials react in conventional electrical and thermal adhesive systems such as epoxies, acrylics and cyanurates. This could provide guidelines for designing nanomaterial-containing systems with unique properties to perform specific tasks such as electrically conductive adhesives.
A well-formulated electrically-conductive adhesive may be able to replace the traditional lead (Pb) bearing solders used in printed circuit board assembly; the elimination of Pb from electronics assemblies is a problem that U.S. manufacturers are facing due to international legislation.
Through SPIR, Daryl Santos, associate professor in Binghamton University’s Systems Science and Industrial Engineering Department, will be working with a student to complete the project.
“While work has already begun at Binghamton in the area of nanotechnology, including the development of the Small Scale Systems Packaging Center, this project is particularly exciting,” said Santos. “By collaborating with NanoDynamics, which is our first project with this New York-based company, we will increase our scope of working with nanomaterials. The experience also enhances our long-standing and internationally recognized expertise in working within an industry-university relationship.”
The scope of the work, which is expected to take two full semesters, will involve thermal and electrical measurements; breaking down and rebuilding the nanomaterials; and the development of working models of the findings.
Alan Rae, vice president of NanoDynamics, said, “We are very excited about this collaboration and the potential that a successful outcome will have on the electronics and semiconductor markets. It is especially nice for us to be working with a New York state institution with the reputation and capabilities of Binghamton University.”