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Researchers at RMIT University have created "liquid metal marbles" - droplets of liquid metal coated in nanoparticles

January 20, 2013 11:41 AM EST By: Jennifer Rocha

The development advances research into soft electronics and industrial sensing technologies.

Story content courtesy of RMIT University, AU

The team from RMIT’s Platform Technologies Research Institute is the first to combine the concepts of liquid marbles with liquid metal droplets, creating a novel platform by using functional nanoparticles as a semi-solid coating on liquid metals.

Lead investigator Dr Vijay Sivan said the “liquid metal marbles” - which have a highly conductive core and a coating of functional nanoparticles with highly controlled electronic properties - were developed as part of investigations into flexible conductive systems for electronic and electromagnetic units.

“The ‘liquid metal marbles’ our team has developed are like flexible ball bearings with extraordinary physical properties,” Dr Sivan said.

“They can endure high impacts without disintegrating, can tolerate high temperatures, can operate like semiconducting-conducting systems - the base of transistors - and are compatible with micro and nano-fluidic systems.

 

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