U.S. Air Force scientists developed liquid metal which autonomously changes structure

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As reported by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, military scientists have developed a “Terminator-like” liquid metal that can autonomously change the structure, just like in a Hollywood movie.

The scientists developed liquid metal systems for stretchable electronics – that can be bent, folded, crumpled and stretched – are major research areas towards next-generation military devices.

Conductive materials change their properties as they are strained or stretched. Typically, electrical conductivity decreases and resistance increases with stretching.

The material recently developed by Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) scientists, called Polymerized Liquid Metal Networks, does just the opposite. These liquid metal networks can be strained up to 700%, autonomously respond to that strain to keep the resistance between those two states virtually the same, and still return to their original state. It is all due to the self-organized nanostructure within the material that performs these responses automatically.

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Scientists have created programmable shape-shifting liquid metal

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Researchers at the University of Sussex and Swansea University have applied electrical charges to manipulate liquid metal into 2D shapes such as letters and a heart. The team says the findings represent an “extremely promising” new class of materials that can be programmed to seamlessly change shape. This open up new possibilities in ‘soft robotics’ and shape-changing displays, the researcher say.

While the invention might bring to mind the film Terminator 2, in which the villain morphs out of a pool of liquid metal, the creation of 3D shapes is still some way off. More immediate applications could include reprogrammable circuit boards and conductive ink.

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Scientists develop new ‘liquid metal’ that will let you print circuits on paper, T-shirts, or even leaves

Soon we could be able to print circuits as well as 3-D products in the comfort of our homes.

Three scientists in China have found a way to create a metal that’s liquid at room temperatures, can be printed as if it was ink in ordinary, everyday desktop printers, and will adhere to surfaces as diverse and supple as rubber, paper, cotton T-shirts, or a leaf off an oak tree.

 

 

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