new study, liquid metal might make everyday objects become intelligent devices.A study suggests that scientists were successful in their attempt to transform commonplace materials like paper and plastic into high-tech devices.According to SciTech Daily, which cited a study, the concept of using liquid metal to change commonplace materials into intelligent electronic gadgets was once considered to be unachievable. However, the likelihood of this happening in the near future has increased significantly.Researchers in China have created an ingenious approach that has the potential to totally transform the electronics sector.
According to research that was recently published in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science, common materials such as paper and plastic could soon be transformed into electronic “smart gadgets” with the help of metal.The research team from Tsinghua University, led by Bo Yuan, has developed a method that is both straightforward and ground-breaking for applying metal coatings on surfaces that are traditionally difficult to bond with the substance in question.This work illustrates the possibility of this method for application on a wide scale, which opens the door to wearable testing platforms, flexible technologies, and maybe soft robots.
Yuan elaborated on the significance of their discovery by adding, “Before, we thought that it was impossible for metal to adhere to non-wetting surfaces so easily. However, here it can adhere to various surfaces only by adjusting the pressure, which is very interesting.”In the past, the high surface tension of liquid metal made it difficult to effectively bind with traditional materials, which resulted in difficulties when integrating metal with traditional materials.In order to circumvent these limits, Yuan and the rest of the team looked for a solution that would make it possible to directly print liquid metal onto surfaces while preserving the properties of the liquid metal.
After some time, they covered a variety of silicone and silicone polymer stamps with two separate types of liquid metal, eGaln and BilnSn, and employed varying pressures to rub the stamps across paper surfaces. The results were interesting.Fortunately, researchers were able to create stable attachment of a liquid metal coating on paper by exerting a little amount of force and folding the paper into the shape of a paper crane. This finding indicates that metal-coated paper maintains its original properties even after folding.Despite these significant advancements, Yuan pointed out that it is still impossible to ensure the endurance of the liquid metal coating after application.
Nevertheless, the team is eager to provide an alternative to the process of putting packaging material to the surface of the paper.Yuan made the following observation: “Just as wet ink on paper may be removed by hand, the liquid metal coating that is applied here without any packing can also be removed by the object that it touches while it is being applied. The qualities of the coating on its own won’t be significantly altered, but anything that comes into contact with it could get dirty.In addition, the researchers intend to broaden the application of the approach to a greater variety of surfaces and develop unique intelligent gadgets.