Nano-twinned copper: Chinese-Danish scientists develop super strong nanometals

Feb 04, 2009

Research shows that it is possible to produce copper about 4 times stronger than commercial material - and doing so while also having a ductile material. As the thermal and electrical conductivity are also good, the manufacturing of, for example, electrical conductors with improved mechanical properties looks promising.

The strength of metal depends on the microstructure - the finer the structure the stronger the metal. But one may wonder if this fundamental principle also applies to extremely fine structures?

Materials scientists worldwide have taken up this challenge and now a Chinese-Danish research collaboration has lead to a break-through in the understanding. The results are scientifically important, but also of interest to technology.

As expected, the strength of copper material increases when the structure becomes finer but when the structure dimension becomes smaller than 15 nanometers the metal unexpectedly becomes softer. The physical processes giving rise to this unusual softening have also been identified based on electron microscopy studies of the structure.

Super strong nanometals are perfect for continuation of the research collaboration between China and Denmark and their exploitation in practical applications are indeed promising.

Publication: The results have been published in the journal Science 30 Jan 2009 (vol. 323. no. 5914, pp. 607-610) entitled ”Revealing the maximum strength in nano-twinned copper.”

Provided by Technical University of Denmark

Explore further: Tiny wires could provide a big energy boost

Related Stories

Engineering atoms inside the jet engine

Jun 29, 2015

The Periodic Table may not sound like a list of ingredients but, for a group of materials scientists, it's the starting point for designing the perfect chemical make-up of tomorrow's jet engines.

Physicists fine-tune control of agile exotic materials

Jun 23, 2015

Physicists have found a way to control the length and strength of waves of atomic motion called polaritons that have promising potential uses such as fine-scale imaging and the transmission of information ...

Researchers design metamaterial that buckles selectively

Jun 10, 2015

Researchers from Leiden University, the Netherlands, have designed a novel metamaterial that buckles on demand. Small structural variations in the material single out regions that buckle selectively under ...

Recommended for you

Tiny wires could provide a big energy boost

1 hour ago

Wearable electronic devices for health and fitness monitoring are a rapidly growing area of consumer electronics; one of their biggest limitations is the capacity of their tiny batteries to deliver enough ...

Graphene sheets enable ultrasound transmitters

1 hour ago

University of California, Berkeley, physicists have used graphene to build lightweight ultrasonic loudspeakers and microphones, enabling people to mimic bats or dolphins' ability to use sound to communicate ...

Project uses crowd computing to improve water filtration

19 hours ago

Nearly 800 million people worldwide don't have access to safe drinking water, and some 2.5 billion people live in precariously unsanitary conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ...

Engineering the world's smallest nanocrystal

23 hours ago

In the natural world, proteins use the process of biomineralization to incorporate metallic elements into tissues, using it to create diverse materials such as seashells, teeth, and bones. However, the way ...

A stretchy mesh heater for sore muscles

Jul 03, 2015

If you suffer from chronic muscle pain a doctor will likely recommend for you to apply heat to the injury. But how do you effectively wrap that heat around a joint? Korean Scientists at the Center for Nanoparticle ...

Polymer mold makes perfect silicon nanostructures

Jul 03, 2015

Using molds to shape things is as old as humanity. In the Bronze Age, the copper-tin alloy was melted and cast into weapons in ceramic molds. Today, injection and extrusion molding shape hot liquids into ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.