2020 journal article

Overcoming Rayleigh–Plateau instabilities: Stabilizing and destabilizing liquid-metal streams via electrochemical oxidation

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(32), 19026–19032.

co-author countries: United States of America 🇺🇸
author keywords: liquid metal; Rayleigh instabilities; EGaIn; jetting; jets
Source: ORCID
Added: August 9, 2020

Significance Liquid streams emerging from a nozzle break up rapidly into droplets due to Rayleigh–Plateau instabilities driven by surface tension. Liquid metals have enormous surface tension yet can be formed into stable cylindrical streams by applying an oxidizing potential to the metal as it is injected into an electrolyte at low velocities. The interfacial tension of a stream of liquid metal can be manipulated electrochemically in real time to produce a range of morphologies, including droplets, fine (100-μm diameter) wires, and rough shapes. The liquid wires can flow and bend without breaking over long distances. This phenomenon enables new approaches for production of metallic structures at room temperature, on-demand fluid-in-fluid structuring, and new tools for studying and controlling fluid behavior.