The new manufacturing approach, called mechanically sintered gallium-indium nanoparticles, focuses on harnessing inkjet printing to create devices made of liquid alloys."Conductors made from liquid metal can stretch and deform without breaking," said Rebecca Kramer from Purdue University."This process now allows us to print flexible and stretchable conductors onto anything, including elastic materials and fabrics," Kramer said.

A printable ink is made by dispersing the liquid metal in a non-metallic solvent using ultrasound, which breaks up the bulk liquid metal into nanoparticles.This nanoparticle-filled ink is compatible with inkjet printing."Liquid metal in its native form is not inkjet-able.

So what we do is create liquid metal nanoparticles that are small enough to pass through an inkjet nozzle," Kramer said."Sonicating liquid metal in a carrier solvent, such as ethanol, both creates the nanoparticles and disperses them in the solvent. Then we can print the ink onto any substrate.

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