Scientists have created liquid metal marbles coated in nanoparticles they hope will advance research in soft electronics and industrial sensing technologies.
Lead investigator Vijay Sivan from RMIT's Platform Technologies Research Institute says these marbles are like flexible ball bearings that can endure high impacts and temperatures, and operate like semi-conducting systems.
He says it is early days but the possibilities of the new platform appear to be "amazing", as it overcomes the limitations of liquid metals.
"Because it is a liquid metal it can be used in soft electronics where you need flexibility," Dr Sivan told AAP.
"It has a nanoparticle coating so it will not stick on the surface and also by having a functional material as a coating you can use it like a transistor.
"Again, because it's liquid metal, any damage caused in the circuit can be self-healed."
He says he and his colleagues look forward to exploring the potential of liquid metal marbles in a range of applications.
It could be used in optical sensing as a heavy metal sensor and it also has a high sensitivity to gas.
The multidisciplinary team research, published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, stemmed from investigations into flexible conductive systems for electronic and electromagnetic units.