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Chinese scientists use water to create metal, can print it, too

A new 'liquid metal' technology allows circuits to be printed on paper, t-shirts, and much more
| Science, Space & Robotics News | Posted: Nov 21, 2013 12:28 pm

Yeah, science, b****. You all know the show, but science really is a magical thing, isn't it? Well, three Chinese scientists have found a new way to create metal, from liquid at room temperatures.




This metal can then be printed onto pretty much anything, as would ordinary ink. It will stick to surfaces such as rubber, paper, t-shirts, or even a leaf. Yes, a leaf, from an actual tree. The biggest thing to take away from this, according to the MIT Technology Review,e is that the alloy of gallium and indium that the scientists discovered.


It's printable at room temperature, compared to other circuit inks that require massive temperatures, upwards of 400C/752F. This is an issue when you want to print onto something that much catch fire, or perish, such as paper. The three scientists explain: "Different from the former direct writing technology where large surface tension and poor adhesion between the liquid metal and the substrate often impede the flexible printing process, the liquid metal here no longer needs to be pre-oxidized to guarantee its applicability on target substrates."


The best bit? It's cheap. MIT says that the technology involved in this innovation is "cheap and simple," which should hopefully mean we see it commercialized, quick.


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