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Influence of Water on the Interfacial Behavior of Gallium Liquid Metal Alloys

By Mohammad R. Khan (1699390), Chris Trlica (1699381), Ju-Hee So (1699384), Michael Valeri (1699387) and Michael D. Dickey (1493677)


Eutectic gallium indium (EGaIn) is a promising liquid metal for a variety of electrical and optical applications that take advantage of its soft and fluid properties. The presence of a rapidly forming oxide skin on the surface of the metal causes it to stick to many surfaces, which limits the ability to easily reconfigure its shape on demand. This paper shows that water can provide an interfacial slip layer between EGaIn and other surfaces, which allows the metal to flow smoothly through capillaries and across surfaces without sticking. Rheological and surface characterization shows that the presence of water also changes the chemical composition of the oxide skin and weakens its mechanical strength, although not enough to allow the metal to flow freely in microchannels without the slip layer. The slip layer provides new opportunities to control and actuate liquid metal plugs in microchannelsincluding the use of continuous electrowettingenabling new possibilities for shape reconfigurable electronics, sensors, actuators, and antennas

Topics: Biophysics, Physiology, Biotechnology, Ecology, Space Science, Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified, Astronomical and Space Sciences not elsewhere classified, Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified, Chemical Sciences not elsewhere classified, Physical Sciences not elsewhere classified, presence, EGaIn, surface, shape reconfigurable electronics, microchannel, flow, Gallium Liquid Metal AlloysEutectic gallium indium, oxide skin
Year: 2014
DOI identifier: 10.1021/am506496u.s003
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Provided by: FigShare
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