McBride, J.W., Cross, K.J and Zhao, Z.
An experimental investigation of the contact area
between a glass plane and both metallic and carbon-
nano-tube electrical contacts.
In, Holm 2008 - 54th IEEE Holm Conference on Electrical Contacts, Orlando, USA,
27 - 29 Oct 2008.
The work presented follows an initial study into a
method for the 3-dimensional (3D) scanning of an electrical
contact surface, while in physical contact with a glass plane. The
method allows the measurement of contact force and the
associated contact area in contact with the glass. A new test
apparatus is presented which allows improved control of the
contact force and improved analysis of the contact area. The
materials investigated include Ag and Cu contact surfaces and a
multi-walled carbon nano-tube-Au composite surface.
The methodology uses a con-focal laser scanner with
2?m spot size and 10nm resolution to measure the contact
surface height (Z) through the glass plane. A levelling procedure
is used to ensure that the true contact region is measured, and a
data grid resolution of 0.1?m in the X,Y plane is used to identify
the contact regions. The contact asperities are identified and
compared with measurements using an AFM probe. The results
are used to provide input data to the Greenwood-Williamson
model for contact mechanics.
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