Can liquid metal flow in microchannels made of its own oxide skin?
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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.
KeywordsLiquid metal Flexible microfluidics Oxide GaInSn
KR acknowledges startup funding from Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University.
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