TeraCopper®

TeraCopper® is a composite of copper and highly conductive carbon nanotubes. When properly integrated into the copper matrix, the nanotubes create significant improvements in electrical, thermal, and mechanical performance.  These benefits will have a high value impact on multiple industries such as power transmission, motors, electronics, and many others.

A strip of TeraCopper undergoing an ampacity test. TeraCopper can withstand 40% more current than ordinary copper before deteriorating. 

A strip of TeraCopper undergoing an ampacity test. TeraCopper can withstand 40% more current than ordinary copper before deteriorating. 

Recent work by our team to implement TeraCopper as a surface treatment for conventional copper components illustrates near term opportunities for this technology in thermal remediation for electronics and switchgear.  In one laboratory demonstration, applying TeraCopper to the surface of electric switchgear contactor reduced the heat generated under constant DC current load by up to 30%.  In another demonstration, a thin foil of TeraCopper utilized as a heat pipe in an electronics architecture captured and dissipated nearly 50% of the heat generated from a chipset simulator, preventing it from producing a hot spot on the back panel as shown below.

Test setup demonstrating heat dissipation of TeraCopper foil. The chipset simulator produces heat and thermocouples monitor locations on the panel.

Test setup demonstrating heat dissipation of TeraCopper foil. The chipset simulator produces heat and thermocouples monitor locations on the panel.

Thermal results from back side of panel. The inclusion of the TeraCopper foil reduces the temperature by nearly 50%.

Thermal results from back side of panel. The inclusion of the TeraCopper foil reduces the temperature by nearly 50%.

In addition to thermal benefits, our team has recently produced TeraCopper treated wire with superior electrical conductivity (~105% IACS).  This work is ongoing and NanoRidge is aggressively seeking industrial partners to accelerate the technology development and evaluate TeraCopper enhanced products in specific near-term applications.