Special Issue "Applications of Liquid Metals"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2019) | Viewed by 4002

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Sandro Manservisi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna, 40136 Bologna, Italy
Interests: liquid metals; turbulence model for liquid metals; heat exchange; fission and fusion reactors; finite element method; optimal control theory
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Shiyang Tang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Mechanical, Materials, Mechatronic and Biomedical Engineering, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
Interests: liquid metal/smart materials enabled actuators; liquid metal nanoparticles for biomedical applications; microfluidic devices for biomedical applications; microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Liquid metals and metal alloys, which are liquid at, or near, room temperature, have recently gained extensive research attention from the scientific community and, nowadays, they are widely used in numerous fields, ranging from nuclear engineering to material sciences and medicine. Metals are the most important and Earth-abundant materials. Ninety-one of the one hundred eighteen elements in the periodic table are metals. They generally exhibit good electrical and thermal conductivity, excellent mechanical properties, and unique chemical properties. The liquid status of these elements combine these excellent properties with the thermal efficiency of the liquid interface that interacts with the surrounding environment. Most metals are in a solid state at room temperature, which allows them to be used in numerous standard applications. Only a few metals, such as Francium, Cesium, Rubidium, Mercury and Gallium, have a melting point lower than or close to room temperature, which enables them to remain in a liquid state at room temperature. Unfortunately, many of the liquid metals at room temperature cannot be used on large scales since they are rare in nature or limited to certain specific areas due to their extreme instability and toxicity. For these reasons, many liquid metals used in common applications should operate inside high-temperature environments.

The aim of this Special Issue is to provide an arena for researchers from different fields who are working on these interesting and promising materials to highlight their latest exciting discoveries, and to promote concrete developments and applications of liquid metal-based platforms.

When a liquid metal moves the study is very challenging since the Prandtl number of liquid metals is very low and the heat transfer applications are often around the point of transition between conduction and convection flow regimes. Most flows involve anisotropy and strong buoyancy influences. This fluid motion should be described by taking into account the thermal-hydraulic equations and applying analytical and empirical correlations. Due to the limit of computational resources, one can solve multi-scale problems by using Computational Fluid Dynamic techniques, which are becoming more and more popular in the daily practice of thermal-hydraulics researchers and designers.

When liquid metal movement is ignored the liquid metal behavior is still very interesting. Many applications have recently been explored by harnessing the unique properties of this type of material. For example, by combining properties of metallic electrical conductivity, high surface tension and low viscosity, some researchers have developed re-configurable and flexible components of electronic/electromagnetic devices and microfluidic microelectromechanical actuators.

When liquid metals are used as a chemical reaction platform the native-oxide skin, appeared on the surface of many liquid metals, is considered to be an excellent planar system to atomically form thin materials with extraordinary functionalities. Moreover, the unique properties of liquid metals also enable many advanced bio-applications in the fields of drug delivery, molecular imaging, cancer therapy and biomedical devices.

Prof. Dr. Sandro Manservisi
Dr. Shiyang Tang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Low-Cost Rapid Fabrication of Conformal Liquid-Metal Patterns
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(8), 1565; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9081565 - 15 Apr 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1696
Abstract
Patterned conformal conductive structures are used to realize flexible electronics for applications such as electronic skin, communication devices, and sensors. Thus, there is a demand for low-cost rapid fabrication techniques for flexible and stretchable conductors. Spray-coating of liquid metals is a prototyping method [...] Read more.
Patterned conformal conductive structures are used to realize flexible electronics for applications such as electronic skin, communication devices, and sensors. Thus, there is a demand for low-cost rapid fabrication techniques for flexible and stretchable conductors. Spray-coating of liquid metals is a prototyping method that is compatible with elastic substrates. In this work, UV-curable and polyimide masks were used to pattern sprayed liquid metal (LM). The effect of the spraying parameters on the thickness and conductivity of the LM was characterized. A minimum LM linewidth of 48 µm was achieved, along with a minimum gap width of 34 µm. A LM patch antenna and transmission line, which can potentially be used for communication systems, were demonstrated using this fabrication process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Liquid Metals)
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Article
Rotation of Liquid Metal Droplets Solely Driven by the Action of Magnetic Fields
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(7), 1421; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9071421 - 04 Apr 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1563
Abstract
The self-rotation of liquid metal droplets (LMDs) has garnered potential for numerous applications, such as chip cooling, fluid mixture, and robotics. However, the controllable self-rotation of LMDs utilizing magnetic fields is still underexplored. Here, we report a novel method to induce self-rotation of [...] Read more.
The self-rotation of liquid metal droplets (LMDs) has garnered potential for numerous applications, such as chip cooling, fluid mixture, and robotics. However, the controllable self-rotation of LMDs utilizing magnetic fields is still underexplored. Here, we report a novel method to induce self-rotation of LMDs solely utilizing a rotating magnetic field. This is achieved by rotating a pair of permanent magnets around a LMD located at the magnetic field center. The LMD experiences Lorenz force generated by the relative motion between the droplet and the permanent magnets and can be rotated. Remarkably, unlike the actuation induced by electrochemistry, the rotational motion of the droplet induced by magnetic fields avoids the generation of gas bubbles and behaves smoothly and steadily. We investigate the main parameters that affect the self-rotational behaviors of LMDs and validate the theory of this approach. We further demonstrate the ability of accelerating cooling and a mixer enabled by the self-rotation of a LMD. We believe that the presented technique can be conveniently adapted by other systems after necessary modifications and enables new progress in microfluidics, microelectromechanical (MEMS) applications, and micro robotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Liquid Metals)
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