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Issue 13, 2013
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Electrochemically induced actuation of liquid metal marbles

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Controlled actuation of soft objects with functional surfaces in aqueous environments presents opportunities for liquid phase electronics, novel assembled super-structures and unusual mechanical properties. We show the extraordinary electrochemically induced actuation of liquid metal droplets coated with nanoparticles, so-called “liquid metal marbles”. We demonstrate that nanoparticle coatings of these marbles offer an extra dimension for affecting the bipolar electrochemically induced actuation. The nanoparticles can readily migrate along the surface of liquid metals, upon the application of electric fields, altering the capacitive behaviour and surface tension in a highly asymmetric fashion. Surprising actuation behaviours are observed illustrating that nanoparticle coatings can have a strong effect on the movement of these marbles. This significant novel phenomenon, combined with unique properties of liquid metal marbles, represents an exciting platform for enabling diverse applications that cannot be achieved using rigid metal beads.

Graphical abstract: Electrochemically induced actuation of liquid metal marbles

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Supplementary files

Article information

10 Jan 2013
24 Apr 2013
First published
26 Apr 2013

Nanoscale, 2013,5, 5949-5957
Article type

Electrochemically induced actuation of liquid metal marbles

S. Tang, V. Sivan, K. Khoshmanesh, A. P. O'Mullane, X. Tang, B. Gol, N. Eshtiaghi, F. Lieder, P. Petersen, A. Mitchell and K. Kalantar-zadeh, Nanoscale, 2013, 5, 5949
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR00185G

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