Magnetically Controllable Liquid Metal Marbles

Rui Chen*, Qin Xiong, Rui-Zhou Song, Kai-Lin Li, Yu-Xin Zhang, Cheng Fang, Jiang-Long Guo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Gallium-based liquid metal alloys (LMAs) are extensively studied and used recently due to their excellent fluidity, high conductivity, and low evaporation pressure. Nonwettable and nonsticky liquid metal marbles (LMMs) are also developed to address the stickiness issue of oxidized LMAs in air. Current LMMs, however, lack acceptable controllability, shape stability, and robustness, greatly limiting their practical application. Here, a magnetically controllable liquid metal marble (MCLMM) that is noncorrosive and nonsticky, and exhibits good elasticity and mechanical robustness, is presented. The as-obtained MCLMM consists of a soft liquid metal core coated with a mixture of ferronickel (FN) and polyethylene (PE) microparticles. This combined structure shows excellent magnetic controllability, good elasticity, and favorable mechanical robustness, as demonstrated by contact angle measurements, rolling angle measurements, corrosive testing, magnetically actuated locomotion, and impact and bounce tests. The MCLMM also possesses satisfying stability in air and stability against temperature changing. In addition, its capabilities are demonstrated as a robotic motor, controllable obstacle cleaner, and a flexible switch for circuits, which shows the potential for MCLMM applications in robotic locomotion and manipulation, electronic circuits, and beyond.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1901057
Number of pages11
JournalAdvanced Materials Interfaces
Issue number20
Early online date25 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2019


  • flexible electronics
  • Galinstan liquid metal
  • liquid metal marble
  • magnetic controllability
  • microfluidics


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