RSC Adv. 2023 Sep 6;13(38):26650-26662. doi: 10.1039/d3ra04356h. eCollection 2023 Sep 4.
This paper focuses on the latest research printing technology and broad application for flexible liquid metal (LM) materials. Through the newest template printing method, centrifugal force assisted method, pen lithography technology, and laser method, the precision of liquid metal printing on the devices was improved to 10 nm. The development of novel liquid metal inks, such as PVA-LM ink and ethanol/PDMS/LM double emulsion ink, have further enhanced the recovery, rapid printing, high conductivity, and strain resistance. At the same time, liquid metals also show promise in the application of biochemical sensors, photocatalysts, composite materials, driving machines, and electrode materials. Liquid metals have been applied to biomedical, pressure/gas, and electrochemical sensors. The sensitivity, biostability, and electrochemical performance of these LM sensors were improved rapidly. They could continue to be used in healthy respiratory, heartbeat monitoring, and dopamine detection. Meanwhile, the applications of liquid metal droplets in catalytic-assisted MoS2 deposition, catalytic growth of two-dimensional (2D) lamellar, catalytic free radical polymerization, catalytic hydrogen absorption/dehydrogenation, photo/electrocatalysis, and other fields were also summarized. Through improving liquid metal composites, magnetic, thermal, electrical, and tensile enhancement alloys, and shape memory alloys with excellent properties could also be prepared. Finally, the applications of liquid metal in micro-motors, intelligent robot feet, nanorobots, self-actuation, and electrode materials were also summarized. This paper comprehensively summarizes the practical application of liquid metals in different fields, which helps understand LMs development trends, and lays a foundation for subsequent research.