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Liquid metal nanocomposites

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Abstract

Liquid metal (LM) has attracted tremendous interest over the past decade for its enabling combination of high electrical and thermal conductivity and low mechanical compliance and viscosity. Efforts to harness LM in electronics, robotics, and biomedical applications have largely involved methods to encapsulate the liquid so that it can support functionality without leaking or smearing. In recent years, there has been increasing interest in LM “nanocomposites” in which either liquid metal is mixed with metallic nanoparticles or nanoscale droplets of liquid metal are suspended within a soft polymer matrix. Both of these material systems represent an important step towards utilizing liquid metal for breakthrough applications. In this minireview, we present a brief overview of recent progress over the past few years in methods to synthesize LM nanomaterials and utilize them as transducers for sensing, actuation, and energy harvesting. In particular, we focus on techniques for stable synthesis of LM nanodroplets, suspension of nanodroplets within various matrix materials, and methods for incorporating metallic nanoparticles within an LM matrix.

Graphical abstract: Liquid metal nanocomposites

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Article information


Submitted
22 Feb 2020
Accepted
27 Mar 2020
First published
31 Mar 2020

This article is Open Access

Nanoscale Adv., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Minireview

Liquid metal nanocomposites

M. H. Malakooti, M. R. Bockstaller, K. Matyjaszewski and C. Majidi, Nanoscale Adv., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D0NA00148A

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