Noncontact rotation, levitation, and acceleration of flowing liquid metal wires

Publication Name

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America


This paper reports the noncontact manipulation of free-falling cylindrical streams of liquid metals into unique shapes, such as levitated loops and squares. Such cylindrical streams form in aqueous media by electrochemically lowering the interfacial tension. The electrochemical reactions require an electrical current that flows through the streams, making them susceptible to the Lorentz force. Consequently, varying the position and shape of a magnetic field relative to the stream controls these forces. Moreover, the movement of the metal stream relative to the magnetic field induces significant forces arising from Lenz's law that cause the manipulated streams to levitate in unique shapes. The ability to control streams of liquid metals in a noncontact manner will enable strategies for shaping electronically conductive fluids for advanced manufacturing and dynamic electronic structures.

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Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

National Science Foundation



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