Coupling soft bodies and dynamic motions with multifunctional flexible electronics is challenging, but is essential in satisfying the urgent and soaring demands of fully soft and comprehensive robotic systems that can perform tasks in spite of rigorous spatial constraints. Here, the mobility and adaptability of liquid droplets with the functionality of flexible electronics, and techniques to use droplets as carriers for flexible devices are combined. The resulting active droplets (ADs) with volumes ranging from 150 to 600 µL can conduct programmable functions, such as sensing, actuation, and energy harvesting defined by the carried flexible devices and move under the excitation of gravitational force or magnetic force. They work in both dry and wet environments, and adapt to the surrounding environment through reversible shape shifting. These ADs can achieve controllable motions at a maximum velocity of 226 cm min−1 on a dry surface and 32 cm min-1 in a liquid environment. The conceptual system may eventually lead to individually addressable ADs that offer sophisticated functions for high-throughput molecule analysis, drug assessment, chemical synthesis, and information collection.
M. Zhou et al., "Droplets as Carriers for Flexible Electronic Devices," Advanced Science, vol. 6, no. 24, John Wiley and Sons Inc., Dec 2019.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1002/advs.201901862
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
Active Droplets; Controllable Motions; Environmental Adaptability; Flexible Electronics; Multifunctionality
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Article - Journal
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01 Dec 2019