US chemists have developed a new type of liquid metal, which can be manipulated with magnetic field. Previously, such materials moved only horizontally, but they can now move vertically as well.
The use of liquid materials in robotics promises great prospects. Most likely, such devices will be made of metals that melt at room temperature, such as gallium, for example. In addition, this material has valuable properties: high conductivity and incredible plasticity. If certain impurities are added to it, it can be manipulated with magnets, but unfortunately only horizontally.
This is due to the metal’s high surface tension. But the researchers have come up with a trick that enables to manipulate gallium vertically. To achieve this, they fused it with iron, indium and tin and placed in hydrochloric acid. A layer of gallium oxide appeared on the alloy, which reduced the surface tension. So, mankind has received a formula for a very promising alloy, which is sure to be put to good use.
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