Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a ceramic composite material with improved mechanical properties and electrical conductivity.
Ceramic materials are widely utilized in environments of extreme temperature, mechanical stress, and chemic reactivity. Unfortunately, ceramics suffer from brittleness, and are electrical insulators, limiting their use in electronic devices. However, carbon nanotubes, which are known to have high stiffness and strength, have been explored as fillers to improve the mechanical properties of ceramics.
Researchers at UC Davis have developed a ceramic composite material that includes single-wall carbon nanotubes as a filler. Interspersing the nanotubes throughout the matrix results in a material that exhibits high electrical conductivity and superior mechanical properties, including high fracture toughness. In addition, the process developed for manufacturing this material enables the nanotubes to be interspersed at a high density, yet with a reduced manufacturing time relative to other methods.
The combination of improvements described above yields a material that is suitable for use in electrical devices, systems, and applications that operate in extreme environments and where low failure rates are critical.
o Heat engines
o Cutting tools
o Wear and friction surfaces
o Nanoscale electronics
o Microelectromechanical systems
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||6,875,374||04/05/2005||2003-299|
Ceramics, Composites, Carbon, Electrical Conductivity, Materials, Nanomaterials, Single-Wall, Nanotubes