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University of Hawaii

Electrical Engineering

1D 2D and 3D Liquid-Metal Reconfigurable Devices and Circuits

Date: 2019-08-06           Add to Google Calendar
Time: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: Holmes Hall 389
Speaker: Kareem Elassy, PhD Candidate in EE, Advisor Dr Ohta


Resources scarcity is one of the main challenges in the 21st and probably the problem will prevail in future eras if not addressed properly. Electronics industry is one of the fields that suffers from resources scarcity in terms of materials, space, and power; these issues can be addressed by implementing efficient reconfigurable electronic devices. Reconfigurable devices and circuits can be achieved through dynamically shaping the device structures, plus changing the connections between those devices. This can efficiently utilize the dedicated resources to produce either different modes of the device, or even different devices performing various functions. The objective of this research is to realize dynamically reconfigurable devices and circuits using liquid-metal microfluidics. We propose the use of the non-toxic gallium-based liquid-metal alloy, Galinstan, to implement a reconfigurable 1D, 2D, and 3D array of electrically conductive elements. We utilized the high surface tension of Galinstan to developed various actuation methods to merge and split liquid metal, thus continuously shaping the realized devices. The practicality of liquid metal was demonstrated by creating reconfigurable dipole antennas, patch antennas, microstrip transmission lines. A key challenge of actuating liquid metal is the necessity of an electrolyte which introduce losses to functional devices, we quantified these losses and proposed alternative co-fluids to actuate liquid metal.