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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:YALE UNIVERSITY
Doing Business As Name:Yale University
PD/PI:
  • Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio
  • (860) 933-2161
  • rebecca.kramer@yale.edu
Award Date:12/05/2017
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 362,302
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 362,302
  • FY 2015=$362,302
Start Date:07/01/2017
End Date:07/31/2020
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:CAREER: Understanding the Printability of Liquid Metal Dispersions for Additive Manufacturing
Federal Award ID Number:1812948
DUNS ID:043207562
Parent DUNS ID:043207562
Program:Materials Eng. & Processing
Program Officer:
  • Thomas F. Kuech
  • (703) 292-8606
  • tkuech@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:Office of Sponsored Projects
City:New Haven
State:CT
ZIP:06520-8327
County:New Haven
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:03

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Yale University
Street:P.O. Box 208327
City:New Haven
State:CT
ZIP:06520-8327
County:New Haven
Country:US
Cong. District:03

Abstract at Time of Award

This Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program grant will investigate an additive manufacturing process using liquid metal. This work has the potential to enable a new class of stretchable electronic devices to serve as platforms for soft robotics, safe human-machine interaction, active orthotics, wearable interfaces, or assistive medical devices for motion aid, prolonged endurance, and health-monitoring. In this research program, stretchable composite materials with electronic functionality will be created by printing liquid-metal traces in elastic polymers. The composite materials are expected to retain the function of rigid metal conductors while leveraging the highly deformable properties of the plastic matrix. The work will focus on the fundamental problems surrounding the processing of liquid metal in order to develop a scalable manufacturing process. The educational and outreach activities include the development of a low-cost, accessible, and scalable soft robot designed for middle- and high-school students. Additive manufacturing with liquid-metal dispersions will bridge the gap between well-established scalable liquid processing, such as printing, and the processing of emerging soft functional materials that exhibit high surface tension, viscosity, and density properties that typically preclude printability. The research objective of this project is to derive and validate the fundamental electromechanical behavior of liquid-metal dispersions during synthesis, deposition, and coalescence. The mechanical response of liquid-metal through these three processing phases will be coupled to its bulk electrical response using experiments, theories, and numerical models across different length scales. This grant will enable a fundamental understanding of the basic principles underlying scalable materials processing for soft electromechanical systems and will significantly improve our ability to design soft machines that deform, react to their environment, and adapt.

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