While the metal for the contacts must be mechanically robust, reliable, and conduct electricity, in current devices traditional metal contacts often fail.

The new tungsten carbide-tungsten metal contacts were used to join multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) using a modified transmission electron microscope to perform nanowelding.

According to the researchers at the National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba, Japan, the resulting junctions are extremely strong at around 5-15 GPa, stronger than some of the measured strengths for MWCNTs and three times stronger than recently measured values for existing junctions. When electron field emission tests were carried out the MWCNT junctions failed at much higher voltages when compared to conventional devices.

Source: www.materialsviews.com