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2015 MRS Spring Meeting


L4.09 - Self-Running Micro-Droplets of Liquid Metal with Record Speed on a Race Track


Apr 8, 2015 4:30pm ‐ Apr 8, 2015 4:45pm

Description

We describe a new approach to self-running micro-scale droplets of liquid metal that results in velocities ~20 cm/s, which is higher than any reported velocity for liquid metals. The technique works by first depositing and patterning metal films on glass slides. These films serve as the �race track� onto which liquid metal droplets run. Droplets of eutectic gallium indium (EGaIn) in acidic solutions spontaneously wet these films, resulting in capillary forces. The solid films dissolve into the liquid metal and the droplets run rapidly along the surface due to the capillary forces. The capillary forces are sufficient to delaminate the films. Our results suggest this delamination process is critical for the incredibly large velocities. The liquid metal drop runs with velocities up to 20 cm/sec which is orders of magnitude higher than any reported velocity of metal drops, and the kinetic energy of our liquid metal drops is orders of magnitude higher than that of any running liquid drops. This system is easy to prepare, does not require special surface treatment, and works effectively in ambient temperature and pressure.

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