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Open AccessFeature PaperReview

Recent Advancements in Liquid Metal Flexible Printed Electronics: Properties, Technologies, and Applications

by Xuelin Wang 1 and Jing Liu 1,2,*
1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2
Beijing Key Lab of CryoBiomedical Engineering and Key Lab of Cryogenics, Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Seung Hwan Ko, Daeho Lee and Zhigang Wu
Micromachines 2016, 7(12), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7120206
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 27 October 2016 / Accepted: 27 October 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flexible and Stretchable Electronics)
This article presents an overview on typical properties, technologies, and applications of liquid metal based flexible printed electronics. The core manufacturing material—room-temperature liquid metal, currently mainly represented by gallium and its alloys with the properties of excellent resistivity, enormous bendability, low adhesion, and large surface tension, was focused on in particular. In addition, a series of recently developed printing technologies spanning from personal electronic circuit printing (direct painting or writing, mechanical system printing, mask layer based printing, high-resolution nanoimprinting, etc.) to 3D room temperature liquid metal printing is comprehensively reviewed. Applications of these planar or three-dimensional printing technologies and the related liquid metal alloy inks in making flexible electronics, such as electronical components, health care sensors, and other functional devices were discussed. The significantly different adhesions of liquid metal inks on various substrates under different oxidation degrees, weakness of circuits, difficulty of fabricating high-accuracy devices, and low rate of good product—all of which are challenges faced by current liquid metal flexible printed electronics—are discussed. Prospects for liquid metal flexible printed electronics to develop ending user electronics and more extensive applications in the future are given. View Full-Text
Keywords: liquid metal; flexible printed electronics; 3D printing; functional device; additive manufacture; consumer electronics liquid metal; flexible printed electronics; 3D printing; functional device; additive manufacture; consumer electronics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, X.; Liu, J. Recent Advancements in Liquid Metal Flexible Printed Electronics: Properties, Technologies, and Applications. Micromachines 2016, 7, 206.

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