Rotation of liquid metal droplets solely driven by the action of magnetic fields

Jian Shu, Shi-Yang Tang, Sizepeng Zhao, Zhihua Feng, Haoyao Chen, Xiangpeng Li, Weihua Li, Shiwu Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
82 Downloads (Pure)


The self-rotation of liquid metal droplets (LMDs) has garnered potential for numerous applications, such as chip cooling, fluid mixture, and robotics. However, the controllable self-rotation of LMDs utilizing magnetic fields is still underexplored. Here, we report a novel method to induce self-rotation of LMDs solely utilizing a rotating magnetic field. This is achieved by rotating a pair of permanent magnets around a LMD located at the magnetic field center. The LMD experiences Lorenz force generated by the relative motion between the droplet and the permanent magnets and can be rotated. Remarkably, unlike the actuation induced by electrochemistry, the rotational motion of the droplet induced by magnetic fields avoids the generation of gas bubbles and behaves smoothly and steadily. We investigate the main parameters that affect the self-rotational behaviors of LMDs and validate the theory of this approach. We further demonstrate the ability of accelerating cooling and a mixer enabled by the self-rotation of a LMD. We believe that the presented technique can be conveniently adapted by other systems after necessary modifications and enables new progress in microfluidics, microelectromechanical (MEMS) applications, and micro robotics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1421
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2019


  • liquid metal
  • self-rotation
  • mixer
  • Lorentz force
  • EGaIn


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