Robohub.org
 

New electrical film that is both solid and liquid

by
29 February 2016



share this:


As soft robotics increases in both scope and popularity, it is becoming more and more vital that each element of the electrical circuits contained within are also soft and elastic and able to continue to function reliably when in stressed or pressurised positions.

Today, a team from LSBI, EPFL and NCCR Robotics present their latest stretchable biphasic (solid-liquid) thin metal film in the journal Advanced Materials. To build the films, first a substrate (a base that the film will be built upon) of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is lain. On top of this, a metallic bilayer is formed by evaporating gallium onto a 60nm thick sputtered gold film. The resulting metallic film has two distinct phases: a solid AuGa2 alloy immersed in liquid gallium that has a melting point of 29.8 oC. The thinness and deposition method of the biphasic film allow for fine and complex shape patterning using lithography techniques, similar to those obtained in metal films on rigid substrates.

The idea of using biphasic (i.e. solid and liquid) elements within the film is that when it is bent or stretched, small cracks form within the solid alloy layer, but the liquid layer is on hand to seep into the gaps and ensure continued electrical conductivity. This elegant solution really seems to work – when tested in the lab under repeated strain and tension, the films retained low sheet resistance (< 0.5 Ω/sq), low gauge factor (sensitivity to strain) (≈ 1) and the ability to stretch by 400 % a million times without affecting function.

The resulting film is thin (<1 μm thick), lightweight and extremely versatile, with potential uses in soft robotics including medical devices where precise delivery of electrical currants are vital.

Reference

A. Hirsch, H.O.Michaud, A.P. Gerratt, S. de Mulatier and S.P. Lacour, “Intrinsically stretchable biphasic (solid-liquid) thin metal films,” Advanced Materials, 2016. Doi: 10.1002/adma.201506234

 



tags: , ,


NCCR Robotics





Related posts :



ROS Awards 2022 results

The intention of these awards is to express recognition for contributions to the ROS community and the development of the ROS-based robot industry, and to help those contributions gain awareness.
02 July 2022, by
ep.

357

podcast

Origin Story of the OAK-D, with Brandon Gilles

Brandon Gilles, the founder of Luxonis and maker of the OAK-D, describes the journey and the flexibility of the OAK-D line of products
01 July 2022, by

The one-wheel Cubli

Researchers Matthias Hofer, Michael Muehlebach and Raffaello D’Andrea have developed the one-wheel Cubli, a three-dimensional pendulum system that can balance on its pivot using a single reaction wheel. How is it possible to stabilize the two tilt angles of the system with only a single reaction wheel?
30 June 2022, by and

At the forefront of building with biology

Raman is, as she puts it, “a mechanical engineer through and through.” Today, Ritu Raman leads the Raman Lab and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
28 June 2022, by

Hot Robotics Symposium celebrates UK success

An internationally leading robotics initiative that enables academia and industry to find innovative solutions to real world challenges, celebrated its success with a Hot Robotics Symposium hosted across three UK regions last week.
25 June 2022, by

Researchers release open-source photorealistic simulator for autonomous driving

MIT scientists unveil the first open-source simulation engine capable of constructing realistic environments for deployable training and testing of autonomous vehicles.
22 June 2022, by





©2021 - ROBOTS Association


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association