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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Research project: Investigation of gold splutter coated vertically aligned multi-wall carbon nanotubes for RF MEMS contact surfaces - Dormant - Dormant

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A novel approach has been developed for the long-standing problem of achieving durable contact surfaces for radio frequency MEMS switches.

The performance of gold-coated vertically aligned multi-walled carbon nanotubes was investigated under the low force electrical contact conditions typical of MEMS switches.  The carbon nanotubes provided a compliant support for the conducting gold surface layer, minimizing the degradation, and adhesion between the contact surfaces which is the principal source of wear in such contacts.  Greatly increased lifetimes were obtained over monolithic gold contact surfaces.

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