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The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Malaysia

Research project: The contact mechanics of structured and Carbon-Nano-Tube (CNT) surfaces for electrical applications

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The aim of the project is to develop contact mechanics models of surfaces constructed of discrete features. This will involve developing the classical statistical contact mechanics models, such as the Willamson-Greenwood model, for these new types of surfaces. A number of surfaces will be considered, including electron beam structured surfaces, Carbon-Nano-Tube surfaces, and Carbon-Nano-Tube composite surfaces.

The initial surface can be fabricated during the first year of the project at the University of Southampton (UoS), during which time a test fixture will be designed for the experimental evaluation of the surfaces. The key experimental aspects will relate to the monitoring the contact resistance with force variation, and if possible devising methods for the evaluation of contact area and deformation. As the project develops the laboratory at USMC will be equipped with a nano-indenter and a 3D surface scanning system, to enable the experimental aspects of the investigation.

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