MesoGlue: DIY Electronics
MesoGlue is a room-temperature metallic glue with the potential to replace hot soldering methods for bonding electrical components together.
Combining the advantageous properties of gluing and welding, the cohesive solution acts like regular silver solder, but allows the consumer to glue parts onto circuit boards without heat. Pieces can be simply pressed on to attach, negating problems such as heat damage to delicate electronic parts, and the complexity of the soldering process.
The technology is made possible by the unique properties of metallic nanorods. One side of these tiny rods is coated with the element indium; the other with gallium. When pressed together, the interlaced rods form a liquid and set at room temperature, providing the strength and electrical conductance expected of a metal.
Developed by professor Hanchen Huang and Paul Elliott of Northeastern University in Boston, along with professor Stephen Stagon of the University of North Florida, the technology is still in its early stages. However, it is already expected to impact many product areas, with multiple applications for use, particularly across the electronics industry.
The metallic glue could replace solder in products like solar cells and pipe fittings, as well as computers and mobile devices, which could also lead to a growth in DIY electronics. Look to Adding Value: Long-Lasting Product and Ethical Electronics for more on how consumers' growing thirst for DIY and repair is improving product lifespans across all design categories.
For more revolutionary advancements spurred by self-transforming materials, look to Wondrous Response.