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Lockheed Martin, Nanyang Univ. to Partner on Nanotech Copper

Freddy Boey (Nanyang Technological University)

Freddy Boey (Nanyang Technological University)

Lockheed Martin Corp. in Bethesda, Maryland and Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) will collaborate on research involving a new type of copper based on nanotechnology. The laboratory established under the agreement signed today will have initial funding of $10 million over four years.

The NTU-Lockheed Martin Joint Laboratory at the university’s Yunnan campus will employ up to eight research scientists. The lab will allow NTU students and faculty to work with Lockheed Martin scientists on further developing a lead-free form of solder known as CuantumFuse, based on a variation of copper created through nanotechnology.

CuantumFuse connects electrical components like solder, but has shown to be more reliable and long-lasting than conventional lead-free solder replacements made of tin, silver and copper. The conventional solder works fine for most commercial applications with short product life cycles and benign operating environments. For heavy-duty military and industrial systems, say Lockheed Martin officials, a more robust solder like CuantumFuse is needed that can produce joints with up to 10 times the electrical and thermal conductivity compared to current materials.

The joint lab is expected to allow the exchange of researchers and knowledge as well as to produce various prototypes and to host prototype demonstrations. “We look forward to working with our colleagues at NTU to identify specific commercial target markets and applications for both Lockheed Martin and NTU’s intellectual property,” says Kenneth Washington, Vice President of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Advanced Technology Center.

NTU aims to expand the scope of the lab beyond CuantumFuse. Freddy Boey, NTU’s provost (pictured at top), says, “We hope that in the near future, scientists from both institutions will continue to explore other research topics of joint interest in areas such as satellite technology, interactive media, and perhaps even deep sea mining.”

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