Using Liquid Metal to Create Ultra-Stretchable Wires
- Thursday, 20 December 2012
Researchers from North Carolina State University have created conductive wires that can be stretched up to eight times their original length while still functioning. The wires can be used for everything from headphones to phone chargers, and hold potential for use in electronic textiles.
To make the wires, researchers start with a thin tube made of an extremely elastic polymer and then fill the tube with a liquid metal alloy of gallium and indium, which is an efficient conductor of electricity.
"Our wires are orders of magnitude more stretchable than the most conductive wires, and at least an order of magnitude more conductive than the most stretchable wires currently in the literature," says Dr. Michael Dickey, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at NC State.