Metals are excellent choices for electrical and thermal-current conducting. However, either the stiffness of solid metals or the fluidity of liquid metals could be troublesome when flexibility and formability are both desired. To address this problem, a reliable two-stage route to improve the functionalities of gallium-based liquid metals is proposed.
A series of stable semiliquid/semisolid gallium-based liquid metal amalgams with well-controlled particle packing ratios. Through effectively packing the liquid metal with copper particles (which are found to turn into intermetallic compound, CuGa2, after dispersing), remarkable enhancements in electrical conductivity (6 × 106 S m–1, ∼80% increase) and thermal conductivity (50 W m–1 K–1, ∼100% increase) are obtained, making the CuGa2 stand out from current conductive soft materials.
The CuGa2 also exhibit appealing semiliquid/semisolid mechanical behaviors such as excellent adhesion, tunable formability, and self-healing ability. As a class of highly conductive yet editable metallic mixtures, the CuGa2 demonstrate potential applications in fields like printed and/or flexible electronics and thermal interface materials, as well as other circumstances where the flexibility and conductivity of interfaces and connections are crucial.