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Influence of Accelerated Aging on the Electrical Resistance of Copper Contacts with ZrCu Discontinuous Thin Layer
The degradation of electrical contacts is closely related to contact resistance. Contact resistance in electrical connections is a consequence of numerous factors interlinked, e.g., oxidation, temperature, mechanical vibration, narrowing of electrical current as it passes through the interface, and other contaminants from the surrounding environment. This paper presents an experimental study of the degradation of electrical contacts by performing accelerated thermal aging of fabricated physical samples and evaluating the contact resistance in the low current and voltage range. The electrical contact sample used in this study was prepared by depositing ZrCu (Zirconium Copper) alloy coatings on a copper-clad laminate using cathodic arc deposition. The experimental results indicate that the contact resistance increases as the contacts degrade over time and the size of the contact load improves the total contact area between the samples.