An innovative material that is both liquid and magnetic could be a game-changer in the fields of medicine and robotics.
The magnetic liquid was created by a team from Berkeley Labs by suspending 3D-printed drops of a ferrofluid containing iron-oxide nanoparticles within a liquid solution. A magnetic coil passed over the droplets triggered the magnetism, which—unlike other magnetic ferrofluids—remained constant after the coil was removed. The material will remain magnetic regardless of its shape, and the droplets can be tuned to shift between magnetic and nonmagnetic at will.
The discovery offers a breakthrough in the field. As study lead researcher Tom Russel stated: “We hope these findings will enable people to step back and think of new applications for liquid magnets. Because until now, people in material sciences haven’t thought this was possible at all.”