Ionic imbalance induced self-propulsion of liquid metals

Zavabeti, Ali, Daeneke, Torben, Chrimes, Adam F., O'Mullane, Anthony P., Ou, Jian Zhen, Mitchell, Arnan, Khoshmanesh, Khashayar, & Kalantar-zadeh, Kourosh (2016) Ionic imbalance induced self-propulsion of liquid metals. Nature Communications, 7, Article no. 12402.

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Abstract

Components with self-propelling abilities are important building blocks of small autonomous systems and the characteristics of liquid metals are capable of fulfilling self-propulsion criteria. To date there has been no exploration regarding the effect of electrolyte ionic content surrounding a liquid metal for symmetry breaking that generates motion. Here we show the controlled actuation of liquid metal droplets using only the ionic properties of the aqueous electrolyte. We demonstrate that pH or ionic concentration gradients across a liquid metal droplet induce both deformation and surface Marangoni flow. We show that the Lippmann dominated deformation results in maximum velocity for the self-propulsion of liquid metal droplets and illustrate several key applications, that take advantage of such electrolyte induced motion. With this finding, it is possible to conceive the propulsion of small entities that are constructed and controlled entirely with fluids, progressing towards more advanced soft systems.

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1 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 99821
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Liquid metal, Actuation, Self-propulsion, Galinstan
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12402
ISSN: 2041-1723
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHYSICAL SCIENCES (020000) > OTHER PHYSICAL SCIENCES (029900)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > CHEMICAL SCIENCE (030000) > PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY (INCL. STRUCTURAL) (030600) > Electrochemistry (030604)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 The Author(s)
Copyright Statement: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Deposited On: 11 Oct 2016 01:05
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2016 23:30

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