2 March, 2016, USA: Taking the technology to a next level, researchers have developed a film which can stretch four times more than its original length. This development can prove real handy in making circuits and robots due to its flexibility. The researchers believe that the new films that are almost as flexible as rubber could be used in artificial skin, connected clothing and on-body sensors. The invention was described in the journal Advanced Materials.
“We can come up with all sorts of uses, in forms that are complex, moving or that change over time,” said one of the study authors Hadrien Michaud from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland.
In order to make this film stretchable the researchers have used a unique combination of alloy of gold and gallium. Elaborating on the subject, study co-author Arthur Hirsch from EPFL said, “Not only does gallium possess good electrical properties, but it also has a low melting point, around 30 degree Celsius. So it melts in your hand, and, thanks to the process known as supercooling, it remains liquid at room temperature, even lower.”
The layer of gold ensures the gallium remains homogeneous, preventing it from separating into droplets when it comes into contact with the polymer, the researchers explained.