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In the future, liquid metal can cause a significant change in the field of technology

Paper is one of the objects that we use on a daily basis at work and at home. In the future, it may be possible to add new features to the paper by coating it with some kind of new liquid metal technology and turn it into a smart gadget to perform some specific tasks on its own.

According to Ars TechnicaLiquid metal is currently used in smart objects such as electrical circuits and wearable sensors; But in the future, this technology may be used as a coating on ordinary objects to add extraordinary capabilities to them. A team of scientists led by Bo Yuan from Tsinghua University in China found a way to formulate the behavior of liquid metal.

These scientists were able to bond liquid metal to paper without glue or any other intermediates, something that was not possible before. In a recent article in the journal Cell has been published, scientists folded paper coated with a layer of this liquid metal into an origami shape. Metal coating, causing memory effect It became paper in this piece, so that after unfolding the origami folds, this paper was able to automatically fold back into the original origami shape. This metal coating also improved the paper’s ability to conduct heat and electricity.

Adhesive alloy construction

The attraction between liquid metal particles causes these particles to stick together, this property makes it difficult to stick liquid metal to other surfaces without using materials that act like glue; But these adhesives mainly have a negative effect on the properties of the metal, such as its conductivity. Bo Yuan and his team sought to create a liquid metal that could stick to paper without using sticky materials. For this purpose, they made an alloy of elements such as bismuth, indium and tin oxide (BiInSn) in the laboratory and compared its adhesive properties with the indium/gallium alloy (eGaIn).

BiInSn alloy performed better than eGaIn alloy, BiInSn did not oxidize when exposed to ambient air; Therefore, in this alloy, the amount of adhesion to other surfaces was not dependent on the oxide layer formed on the metal.

BiInSn alloy is solid at room temperature and since its melting temperature is 62 degrees Celsius, there is no risk of melting and changing its state to liquid at room temperature; Also, this alloy has stronger adhesion than eGaIn alloy. Of course, determining the exact amount of elements used in this alloy in order to achieve optimal adhesion required a lot of trial and error.


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