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Recent miniaturization of electronics devices requires narrow channel conductors with high current-carrying capacity. However, traditional copper wires fail soon after they reach their capacity because of their low tensile strength. This has created a need for new, lightweight conductors with higher current-carrying capacity.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are a class of materials that stand out due to their extraordinary electrical conductivity and heat conductivity, and ampacity (103 times greater than copper). Their remarkable properties make CNTs an attractive material for many applications.
One of the most interesting aspects of CNTs is their high aspect-ratio, which provides an ideal substrate for interconnect vias [3, 4]. This feature also facilitates the use of the material in electronic packaging and electronic interconnection systems.
Another unique property of CNTs is their exceptional electromigraion tolerance, compared to other interconnect materials, such as copper and aluminum. This property can provide better mechanical reliability for the interconnect material.
Moreover, CNTs can be used to create composite films by both electrolytic and electroless copper plating processes. The composite films can be deposited onto various electrically conductive and insulating substrates.
In this study, we fabricated multi-walled copper/single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) composite films by both magnetic stirring and mechanical atomization in a plating bath. The resulting films were characterized by SEM, XPS and ESI-SEM. The SWCNTs were incorporated into the film relatively homogeneously. We found that the SWCNT bundles are relatively large in the central regions of the film, but smaller in the outer parts. This morphology of the SWCNTs could enhance the interfacial interactions between the CNTs and the copper film, resulting in higher specific conductivity.