goldsilverworlds.com / via The Silver Institute /
It turns out that silver nanoparticles are not as solid as initially thought, making their use in electronic components and circuits a bit challenging as gadgets become increasingly smaller. Fortunately, there is a solution.
Because of its superb electrical conductivity and high melting temperature, silver is used in many aspects of electronic design. Recently, however, scientists have discovered that as the particles become microscopically smaller – in the 10 nanometer range – their outside layer mimics water droplets, wobbling and changing shape, while the inside stays stable. This can be problematic for their use in electrical contacts at the molecular level (10 nanometers is one-thousandth of the width of a human hair) as the silver could leak and cause short circuits. This could be especially challenging in devices that move around a lot or rely on movement like tiny motors or sensors in mobile applications.
A research team at MIT first noticed this phenomenon while studying silver nanoparticles but they believe it will apply to other metal nanoparticles as well.
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