Collaborative Research: Microscale Joining Using Nanoheater Structures
This grant provides funding for a multi-institution, multi-disciplinary project to understand the processing-structure-property relationships of composite nanoheater-joining-material structures. The focus is on joining applications at the microscale level where spatial and temporal control of temperature profiles is important in complex geometries and heterogeneous devices with temperature sensitive parts. This research aims to understand (1) the fabrication of nanoheater composites of nanoheaters and joining materials, including the effect of mixing on proper distribution of heat output; (2) the deposition of the nanoheater-joining material composite onto flexible substrates; (3) the controlled, non-contact ignition of the nanoheaters; and (4) the functionality and reliability of the joining/interconnects. Both metal-based structures and polymer adhesives will be investigated. Fabrication and deposition of the composite joining system will be done by both ultrasonic powder consolidation and printing or direct electrospinning/electrospraying. Ignition experiments and modeling of self-ignition will be conducted. Finally, joint quality and robustness will be characterized.
If successful, this research will enable new ways of joining materials in conventional applications that increase productivity, reduce energy and material usage, lower costs, and broaden the range of products. This research is anticipated to lead to new ways to build microscale devices such as Lab-On-Chips, flexible electronics, micro-optical devices, sensors, medical devices, and energy and information storage devices. The project will also contribute to human resource development (especially women and minorities) and increased public understanding of STEM through collaborations with the Urban Massachusetts Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (UMLSAMP), local K-12 schools, the Museum of Science, and international partners (University of Cyprus).
Northeastern University’s College of Engineering is home to numerous federally-funded research centers and an array of leading-edge projects and initiatives that advance discovery and new knowledge in health, sustainability, and security.