University of Sussex
Programmable_Liquid_Matter__ISS_2017_ camera_ready.pdf (8.68 MB)
Download file

Programmable liquid matter: 2D shape deformation of highly conductive liquid metals in a dynamic electric field

Download (8.68 MB)
conference contribution
posted on 2023-06-09, 09:03 authored by Yutaka Tokuda, Jose Luis Berna MoyaJose Luis Berna Moya, Gianluca MemoliGianluca Memoli, Timothy Neate, Deepak Ranjan Sahoo, Simon Robinson, Jennifer Pearson, Matt Jones, Sriram Subramanian
In this paper, we demonstrate a method for the dynamic 2D transformation of liquid matter and present unique organic animations based on spatio-temporally controlled electric fields. In particular, we deploy a droplet of liquid metal (Gallium indium eutectic alloy) in a 7x7 electrode array prototype system, featuring an integrated image tracking system and a simple GUI. Exploiting the strong dependance of EGaIn’s surface tension on external electric voltages, we control multiple electrodes dynamically to manipulate the liquid metal into a fine-grained desired shape. Taking advantage of the high conductivity of liquid metals, we introduce a shape changing, reconfigurable smart circuit as an example of unique applications. We discuss system constraints and the overarching challenge of controlling liquid metals in the presence of phenomena such as splitting, self-electrode interference and finger instabilities. Finally, we reflect on the broader vision of this project and discuss our work in the context of the wider scope of programmable materials.


Publication status

  • Published

File Version

  • Accepted version


Proceedings of the 2017 ACM International Conference on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces



Page range


Event name

2017 ACM International Conference on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces

Event location

Brighton, United Kingdom

Event type


Event date

17-20 October 2017

Place of publication

New York, NY, USA




ISS '17

Department affiliated with

  • Informatics Publications

Research groups affiliated with

  • Creative Technology Publications


© ACM, 2017. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in "ISS '17 Proceedings of the 2017 ACM International Conference on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces Pages 142-150", Brighton, United Kingdom — October 2017

Full text available

  • Yes

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date


First Open Access (FOA) Date


First Compliant Deposit (FCD) Date