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Limits of high-density, low-force pressure contacts

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2 Author(s)
Beale, J. ; Solid State Electron. Lab., Stanford Univ., CA, USA ; Pease, R.F.

Using a custom-built apparatus we have been characterizing extremely small pressure contacts with applied forces down to a few nN and corresponding contact areas down to 10-13 cm2. At these forces, which are many orders of magnitude smaller than those currently employed in electrical contacts, nominally clean gold-gold and iridium-gold contacts in air exhibit resistivities higher than that predicted from a simple model based on the plastic deformation of the gold. A film of the insulating polymer PMMA three monolayers (2.7 mm) thick deposited on a gold surface affects its conductance significantly, and a film of seven monolayers insulates it completely

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Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology, Part A, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 2 )