Can liquid metal flow in microchannels made of its own oxide skin?

  • S. Liu
  • X. Sun
  • N. Kemme
  • V. G. Damle
  • C. Schott
  • M. Herrmann
  • K. RykaczewskiEmail author
Short Communication


Rapid surface oxidation of gallium-based liquid metals complicates their manipulation but can also be used to stabilize them into 3D shapes. We show that GaInSn can readily flow within such structures. The oxide skin microchannel walls are flexible and, if ruptured, are restored through oxidation of exposed liquid metal. These flexible-wall microchannels can be repeatedly deflated and refilled with the liquid metal.


Liquid metal Flexible microfluidics Oxide GaInSn 



KR acknowledges startup funding from Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University.

Supplementary material

10404_2015_1665_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (554 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 554 kb)

Supplementary material 2 (AVI 4074 kb)

10404_2015_1665_MOESM3_ESM.mp4 (10.2 mb)
Supplementary material 3 (MP4 10459 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Liu
    • 1
  • X. Sun
    • 1
  • N. Kemme
    • 1
  • V. G. Damle
    • 1
  • C. Schott
    • 1
  • M. Herrmann
    • 1
  • K. Rykaczewski
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and EnergyArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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