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Electronic Materials

Chemistry in Pictures: Liquid metal ferrofluid

by Craig Bettenhausen
May 21, 2019

20190521lnp20-liqmetalferro.gif
Credit: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2019, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.8b22699

Ferrofluids are liquids, often oils, in which tiny particles of a magnetic material such as iron are suspended, allowing scientists to stretch and shape them with magnetic fields. Now, researchers have made one (shown being manipulated with magnets) where the fluid is a liquid metal alloy of gallium, indium, and tin at a ratio of 67:12:13. Because the ferrofluid conducts electricity readily, the team predicts it might one day be used in new types of remote and 3-D electrical switches, as well as in soft robotics.

Credit: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2019, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.8b22699

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