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Changing the shape and function of liquid metal

stack of liquid metal droplets

The image shows a stack of liquid metal droplets. The metal is a eutectic alloy of gallium and indium. The metal is a liquid, similar to water, but can be patterned into 3-D shapes due to a thin, solid oxide skin that forms on its surface.

Credit: Collin Ladd, NC State University


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metalic ant on a mushroom.

The metal is a eutectic alloy of gallium and indium. The metal is a liquid, similar to water, but can be patterned into 3-D shapes due to a thin, solid oxide skin that forms on its surface.

Credit: Collin Ladd, NC State University


Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (6.9 MB)

Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.

free-standing structure made of liquid metal compared to the size of a penny

This 3-D structure was created out of liquid metal drops. The liquid metal, a eutectic alloy of gallium and indium, is similar to water but it can be patterned into 3-D shapes due to a thin, solid, oxide skin that forms on its surface. Researchers at North Carolina State University developed the 3-D printing technology and techniques, which can create free-standing structures made of liquid metal at room temperature. This structure was created using a technique that involves stacking the liquid metal droplets on top of each other, much like a stack of oranges at the supermarket. The droplets adhere to one another but retain their shape, and do not merge into a single, larger droplet.

Credit: Collin Ladd, NC State University


Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (10.3 MB)

Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.