North Carolina State University researchers have reached to a new conductive wires that can stretch 8 times more than their original size while keeping their quality as it is. The new wires can replace any type of wires, the wires can be used in headphones and phone chargers and it might be used in electronic textiles.
To make the wires, researchers start with a thin tube made of an extremely elastic polymer and then fill the tube with a liquid metal alloy of gallium and indium, which is an efficient conductor of electricity.
While the manufacturing of the new wires is relatively straightforward, Dickey notes that one challenge needs to be addressed before the wires can be considered for popular products: how to minimize leakage of the metal if the wires are severed.
The paper, “Ultrastretchable Fibers with Metallic Conductivity Using a Liquid Metal Alloy Core,” is published online in Advanced Functional Materials. The paper was co-authored by Shu Zhu, a former undergraduate at NC State; Dr. Ju-Hee So, a former Ph.D. student at NC State; Robin Mays and William Barnes, Ph.D. students at NC State; Dr. Sharvil Desai, a former postdoctoral researcher at NC State; and Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi, the William A. Klopman Distinguished Chaired Professor of Materials in NC State’s College of Textiles and a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering in the university’s College of Engineering.
The research was funded by a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award and the NSF’s Research Triangle Materials Research Science & Engineering Center.