Liquid metals are promising multifunctional materials, but their single-colour physical appearance limits their applicability. There are several methods to endow liquid metals with colour and fluorescence, and although breakthroughs have been made in controlling their optical and interfacial properties, more work is needed to refine the synthetic strategies, better understand the coloration effects and enable the applications of colourful liquid metals.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution
Access Nature and 54 other Nature Portfolio journals
Get Nature+, our best-value online-access subscription
$29.99 / 30 days
cancel any time
Subscribe to this journal
Receive 12 digital issues and online access to articles
$119.00 per year
only $9.92 per issue
Rent or buy this article
Prices vary by article type
Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout
Feiner, R. & Dvir, T. Tissue–electronics interfaces: from implantable devices to engineered tissues. Nat. Rev. Mater. 3, 17076 (2018).
Ding, Y., Zeng, M. & Fu, L. Surface chemistry of gallium-based liquid metals. Matter 3, 1477–1506 (2020).
Gao, J.-Y. et al. Additive manufacture of low melting point metal porous materials: capabilities, potential applications and challenges. Mater. Today 49, 201–230 (2021).
Yan, J. et al. Solution processable liquid metal nanodroplets by surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization. Nat. Nanotechnol. 14, 684–690 (2019).
Gao, X., Fan, X. & Zhang, J. Tunable plasmonic gallium nano liquid metal from facile and controllable synthesis. Mater. Horiz. 8, 3315–3323 (2021).
Zhang, J., Yao, Y., Sheng, L. & Liu, J. Self-fueled biomimetic liquid metal mollusk. Adv. Mater. 27, 2648–2655 (2015).
Duan, L. F. et al. Unique and excellent paintable liquid metal for fluorescent displays. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 14, 23951–23963 (2022).
Duan, L. F. et al. Unique surface fluorescence induced from the core–shell structure of gallium-based liquid metals prepared by thermal oxidation processing. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 14, 39654–39664 (2022).
Duan, L. F. et al. New strategy and excellent fluorescence property of unique core–shell structure based on liquid metals/metal halides. Small 18, 2204056 (2022).
Work is partially supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 91748206).
The authors declare no competing interests.
About this article
Cite this article
Duan, L., Zhou, T., Zhang, Y. et al. Colourful liquid metals. Nat Rev Mater 7, 929–931 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41578-022-00512-2