Liquid Metal Composites with Anisotropic and Unconventional Piezoconductivity

Guolin Yun, Shi Yang Tang, Qianbin Zhao, Yuxin Zhang, Hongda Lu, Dan Yuan, Shuaishuai Sun, Lei Deng, Michael D. Dickey, Weihua Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Anisotropic elastic composites—that is, elastomers containing aligned fillers—often have enhanced properties in the direction of alignment. Depending on the fillers, these composites can have desirable electrical, thermal, or mechanical properties. Here, a silicone composite filled with both solid magnetic metal microparticles and liquid metal microdroplets has been developed. Aligning the solid particles within a magnetic field during curing imparts anisotropy in several properties. Thus, the composite is called an anisotropic liquid metal-filled magnetorheological elastomer (ALMMRE). Compared with isotropic liquid metal-filled composites, the conductivity of the ALMMRE is significantly enhanced in all directions. The ALMMRE also exhibits anisotropic piezoconductivity and a significantly enhanced electrical anisotropy under mechanical deformation; these properties are not observed in conventional anisotropic composites. The ALMMRE also shows anisotropic mechanical, thermal, and magnetic properties and demonstrates its several proof-of-concept applications. The sensitivity of the ALMMRE's properties to strain may help advance future flexible sensors and soft electronics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)824-841
Number of pages18
JournalMatter
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sep 2

Keywords

  • EGaIn
  • MAP2: Benchmark
  • anisotropic conductive composite
  • hybrid composite
  • liquid metal
  • magnetic field alignment
  • opposite piezoconductivity
  • positive piezoconductivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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