Researchers at RMIT University have created “liquid metal marbles” – droplets of liquid metal coated in nanoparticles – in a breakthrough that advances research into soft electronics and industrial sensing technologies.
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.
According to lead investigator Dr Vijay Sivan, the liquid metal marbles 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,” Sivan says.
“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.
“The possibilities this new platform offers are amazing and we look forward to exploring the potential of liquid metal marbles in a range of applications.”
Can you think of an application for liquid metal marbles?