In the blockbuster Terminator movie franchise, an evil robot morphs into different human forms and objects and oozes through narrow openings, thanks to its “liquid-metal” composition. Although current robots don’t have these capabilities, the technology is getting closer with the development of new liquid metals that can be manipulated in 3D space with magnets.
Reported in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, the materials could someday find applications in soft robotics.
Metals that are liquids at room temperature, such as gallium and certain alloys, have unique properties including high conductivity, low melting point and high deformability. These properties make them attractive for use in soft robots and flexible electronics. By adding magnetic particles, such as nickel or iron, researchers can produce liquid metals that they can manipulate with magnets. However, because of their high surface tension, most magnetic liquid metals can only move horizontally, and they must be immersed completely in liquid to avoid forming a paste. Liang Hu, Jing Liu and colleagues wanted to make a magnetic liquid metal that they could move and stretch both horizontally and vertically, without needing to put the material completely in a liquid.
To do so, the researchers first worked with the material submersed in liquid. They added iron particles to a droplet of a gallium, indium and tin alloy immersed in hydrochloric acid. A gallium oxide layer formed on the droplet surface, which lowered the surface tension of the liquid metal. When the team applied two magnets in opposite directions, they could stretch the droplet to almost four times its resting length. They could also manipulate the liquid metal to connect two immersed, horizontal electrodes and, by virtue of its conductive properties, light up an LED bulb. The liquid metal could even stretch vertically and then move horizontally to connect two electrodes –– the upper one exposed to air, and the lower one in the hydrochloric acid. This demonstrated that the material didn’t have to be fully immersed in liquid. In this way, the magnetic liquid metal was reminiscent of an upright walking amphibian, the researchers say.
In the present study, a magnetic liquid metal droplet (MLMD), which can be stretched in large scales both horizontally and vertically in the free space, is introduced. This MLMD is fabricated based on a multimaterial system including liquid metals, iron particles, and electrolytes. Such remarkable stretching capacity is reversible, long-lasting, and can be repeated for multiple times. The seemingly contrary properties, the good stretchability and the mechanic strength for three-dimensional (3D) stretch, should owe to the surface oxide over the MLMD. On the basis of the 3D stretching ability of the MLMD, an intelligent scalable conductor was achieved, which can make electrical connections at various directions in the 3D free space. Moreover, the vertically stretched MLMD can move horizontally with its half body in the solution and the other half in the air, which resembles the nature of an upright walking amphibian.
All the behaviors can be precisely, conveniently, and contactlessly controlled by the magnetic field provided by permanent magnets. With all the appealing properties, this MLMD presents a fundamental and promising platform for the liquid metals to further develop the multi-freedom actuation in free space and eventually lead to the dynamically reconfigurable intelligent and biomimetic soft robots in the future.
The Latest on: Liquid metals
via Google News
The Latest on: Liquid metals
- Samsung CXL DDR5 Memory, Tachyum Universal Processor And Imec’s Liquid Memorieson May 19, 2022 at 9:32 pm
Samsung introduced a 512GB CXL DDR5 memory module for the next generation of servers. Tachyum announced early availability of its Prodigy Universal Processor. Imec revealed early work on two types of ...
- Global Liquid Filtration Market is Predicted to Witness Huge Growth of USD 3.4 billion by 2027 : Fior Marketson May 19, 2022 at 12:44 pm
Filter Media (Woven, Non-Woven, Mesh), Applications (Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Metal & Mining, Food & Beverage, Municipal Treatment, Industrial Treatment and Others), Region, Global Industry Analysis, ...
- Recycling more precious metals from nuclear and electronic waste using the Picasso pigment, Prussian blueon May 17, 2022 at 5:00 pm
Study shows the way forward in recovering precious metals from E-waste, a growing issue in our technology-rich society.
- Thrash talk: Heavy-metal-loving legislator co-hosts ‘Liquid Metal’ radio show on SiriusXMon May 17, 2022 at 3:22 pm
It’s part of my identity," said Del. Danica Roem. “I will always have a heavy metal heart; that will never change.” ...
- Thrash talk: Heavy-metal-loving Virginia legislator co-hosts ‘Liquid Metal’ radio show on SiriusXMon May 17, 2022 at 3:19 pm
Del. Danica Roem still gets chills when recalling her all-time favorite heavy metal performance. She was in Germany in 2013 at Wacken Open Air, one of the largest annual metal festivals in the world.
- New technology dramatically increases the recovery rate of precious metals from wasteon May 17, 2022 at 10:08 am
In South Korea, which relies on imports for 99.3% of its metal resources, the per capita consumption of those metal resources is the highest in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and ...
- Liquid metal batteries for storing renewable energy: Canadian chemist Donald Sadoway named European Inventor Award 2022 finaliston May 17, 2022 at 6:00 am
Sadoway studied chemical metallurgy specialising in what he calls "extreme electrochemistry" – chemical reactions in molten salts and liquid metals that have been heated to over 500°C.
- Liquid metal batteries for storing renewable energy: MIT Professor Donald Sadoway named European Inventor Award 2022 finaliston May 17, 2022 at 5:11 am
Electrochemist Donald Sadoway nominated for European Patent Office (EPO) innovation prize for batteries that have potential to revolutionize ...
- Arieca Announces an Agreement to Develop a Liquid-Metal-Based Thermal Interface Material for Power Modules in the Electric Vehicle (xEV) Segmenton May 17, 2022 at 5:00 am
Arieca, a leader in liquid-metal-based Thermal Interface Materials (TIM), entered into a joint research agreement with ROHM Co., Ltd., a leading provider of power semiconductor devices for the xEV ...
- This Liquid Metal Could Transform Soft Electronicson May 6, 2022 at 10:01 am
Bend it. Stretch it. Use it to conduct electricity. Researchers are exploring a range of applications that harness gallium's unusual properties ...
via Bing News