Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 55, Issue 6, pp 2564–2577 | Cite as

Enhancement of electrical conductivity in aluminum single crystals by boron treatment in solid state

  • Rimma LapovokEmail author
  • Yaron Amouyal
  • Yuanshen Qi
  • Alex Berner
  • Anna Kosinova
  • Eugene Lakin
  • Dmitri A. Molodov
  • Emil Zolotoyabko
Metals & corrosion


Electrical conductivity/resistivity of elemental fcc metals, such as Al and Cu, has been investigated intensively for decades, both theoretically and experimentally. Since these metals are of great practical importance for electrical wiring, reducing their resistivity even by a few percent may have very strong impact on their application effectiveness. In this paper, we report on electrical resistivity measurements in Al single crystals grown by the Bridgman method. We found that their resistivity at room temperature decreases by 11.5% upon heat treatment in a boron environment at 600 °C, i.e., well below the melting temperature of Al (Tm = 660 °C). The residual resistivity indeed reaches its lower limit dictated by electron–phonon interaction at room temperature. We explain this effect by the boron-induced formation of distorted regions at the surface of the Al crystals. These regions are 30–50 μm in size and comprise finer grains with an average size of 5 μm, separated by low-angle grain boundaries. Resistivity reduction is mainly due to the getter effect, i.e., the removal of the impurity atoms from the crystal bulk by the outward diffusion to the distorted surface regions.



Prof. R. Lapovok acknowledges the Marie Curie Fellowship within the EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation ‘HORIZON 2020’ (Grant - 742098). We thank Dr. T. Kravchuk for her help with TOF–SIMS measurements.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringTechnion - Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Institute for Frontier MaterialsDeakin UniversityGeelongAustralia
  3. 3.Institute for Physical Metallurgy and Metal PhysicsRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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