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: UO-industry collaboration points to improved nanomaterials

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Bending—but not breaking—in search of new materials

Nov 11, 2014

Making a paper airplane in school used to mean trouble. Today it signals a promising discovery in materials science research that could help next-generation technology -like wearable energy storage devices- ...

Fewer surgeries with degradable implants

Nov 04, 2014

Until now, in cases of bone fracture, doctors have used implants made of steel and titanium, which have to be removed after healing. To spare patients burdensome inter- ventions, researchers are working on ...

Versatile bonding for lightweight components

Nov 04, 2014

New materials are making cars, planes and all sorts of other things lighter. The catch is that many of these materials can't be welded. Now there's an alternative joining me- thod available – gradient adhesives ...

Keeping hydrogen from cracking metals

Oct 28, 2014

Metal alloys such as steel and zirconium that are used in pipes for nuclear reactors and oil fields naturally acquire a protective oxide or sulfide layer. But hydrogen penetration can lead to their breakdown ...

Recommended for you

Paper electronics could make health care more accessible

Nov 19, 2014

Flexible electronic sensors based on paper—an inexpensive material—have the potential to some day cut the price of a wide range of medical tools, from helpful robots to diagnostic tests. Scientists have ...

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.