Skip to main content

Essay Contest: Physics in 2116

Accompanying Frank Wilczek’s article about what physics will look like in 100 years is an opportunity for our readers to submit their own predictions for the chance to win $7500. Find out about our Physics in 2116 contest online.

News Picks : Liquid-metal printer creates circuits on a variety of materials

By: Physics Today
20 November 2013
MIT Technology Review: Many attempts have been made to design a desktop printer that can create electrical circuits by aiming droplets of charged ink onto a variety of materials ranging from plastic to paper to cloth. Until now, those efforts have been hindered by inks that have low or hard-to-control conductivity or that need to be heated to extreme temperatures, which limits the kinds of material they can be printed on. Now, a team led by Jing Liu of the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry in Beijing has come up with a simple inkjet printer that creates usable circuits on many different surfaces. They have tested their new liquid-metal ink—an alloy of gallium and indium—on paper, plastic, glass, rubber, cotton cloth, and even a leaf. The ink, which is liquid at room temperature, rapidly oxidizes as it is sprayed onto a surface. That property allows it to bond with most materials. And because only the outside layer of the ink oxidizes, the liquid-metal interior maintains the high conductivity of the alloy. The technique is inexpensive and uncomplicated and could potentially be commercialized very quickly.


Submit comment
Comment moderation successfully completed
e0bf90919b92373893d51373e6a49b70 weblog.blogpostzxybnytfddd