The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded UH Mānoa Electrical Engineering Professors Aaron Ohta and Wayne Shiroma with a one-year $184,800 research seedling grant for research on Reconfigurable Liquid-Metal Pixelated Antennas.
First popularized in the 1991 blockbuster Terminator 2: Judgment Day in the form of a shape-shifting cyborg, liquid-metal has enormous potential in improving technology, particularly in the field of wireless communications.
For example, traditional solid-metal antennas work best at a specific frequency. But given liquid-metal’s ability to transform, liquid-metal antennas are able operate well on a variety of frequencies, thereby improving reception. An equally valuable benefit of liquid metal is its ability to transfer heat, thereby reducing the space required for cooling systems, ultimately resulting in electronic devices that are smaller and lighter.