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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 28, 2025
  2. Abstract

    Pastes and “foams” containing liquid metal (LM) as the continuous phase (liquid metal foams, LMFs) exhibit metallic properties while displaying paste or putty‐like rheological behavior. These properties enable LMFs to be patterned into soft and stretchable electrical and thermal conductors through processes conducted at room temperature, such as printing. The simplest LMFs, featured in this work, are made by stirring LM in air, thereby entraining oxide‐lined air “pockets” into the LM. Here, it is reported that mixing small amounts of water (as low as 1 wt%) into such LMFs gives rise to significant foaming by harnessing known reactions that evolve hydrogen and produce oxides. The resulting structures can be ≈4–5× their original volume and possess a fascinating combination of attributes: porosity, electrical conductivity, and responsiveness to environmental conditions. This expansion can be utilized for a type of 4D printing in which patterned conductors “grow,” fill cavities, and change shape and density with respect to time. Excessive exposure to water in the long term ultimately consumes the metal in the LMF. However, when exposure to water is controlled, the metallic properties of porous LMFs can be preserved.

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  3. Abstract

    This paper demonstrates that air‐stable radicals enhance the stability of triboelectric charge on surfaces. While charge on surfaces is often undesirable (e.g., static discharge), improved charge retention can benefit specific applications such as air filtration. Here, it is shown that self‐assembled monolayers (SAMs) containing air‐stable radicals, 2,2,6,6‐tetramethylpiperidin‐1‐yl)oxidanyl (TEMPO), hold the charge longer than those without TEMPO. Charging and retention are monitored by Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (KPFM) as a function of time. Without the radicals on the surface, charge retention increases with the water contact angle (hydrophobicity), consistent with the understanding that surface water molecules can accelerate charge dissipation. Yet, the most prolonged charge retention is observed in surfaces treated with TEMPO, which are more hydrophilic than untreated control surfaces. The charge retention decreases with reducing radical density by etching the TEMPO‐silane with tetrabutylammonium fluoride (TBAF) or scavenging the radicals with ascorbic acid. These results suggest a pathway toward increasing the lifetime of triboelectric charges, which may enhance air filtration, improve tribocharging for patterning charges on surfaces, or boost triboelectric energy harvesting.

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