Liquid Metal Marbles

Authors

  • Vijay Sivan,

    1. School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, RMIT University, GPO Box 2476, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia
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  • Shi-Yang Tang,

    1. School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, RMIT University, GPO Box 2476, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia
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  • Anthony P. O'Mullane,

    1. School of Applied Sciences, RMIT University, GPO Box 2476, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia
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  • Phred Petersen,

    1. School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, GPO Box 2476, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia
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  • Nicky Eshtiaghi,

    1. School of Civil, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, RMIT University, GPO Box 2476, Melbourne, VIC 3001, Australia
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  • Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, RMIT University, GPO Box 2476, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia
    • School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, RMIT University, GPO Box 2476, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia
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  • Arnan Mitchell

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Ultra-high bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS), School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, RMIT University, GPO Box 2476, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia
    • Centre for Ultra-high bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS), School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, RMIT University, GPO Box 2476, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia.
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Abstract

Liquid metal marbles that are droplets of liquid metal encapsulated by micro- or nanoparticles are introduced. Droplets of galinstan liquid metal are coated with insulators (including Teflon and silica) and semiconductors (including WO3, TiO2, MoO3, In2O3 and carbon nanotubes) by rolling over a powder bed and also by submerging in colloidal suspensions. It is shown that these marbles can be split and merged, can be suspended on water, and are even stable when moving under the force of gravity and impacting a flat solid surface. Furthermore, the marble coating can operate as an active electronic junction and the nanomaterial coated liquid metal marble can act as a highly sensitive electrochemical based heavy metal ion sensor. This new element thus represents a significant platform for the advancement of research into soft electronics.

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