Process and annealing of a liquid metal composite with microstructure control for thermally conductive soft material

Iowa State University researchers have developed a material where a liquid metal is embedded into an elastomer. The liquid metal particles can be annealed after stretching providing directionality to a high degree of thermal conductivity. ISURF #04968 describes a material similar to ISURF #04969 but is electrically insulative.

Incorporation of liquid metal particles into an elastomer creates a soft material with incredible high thermal conductivity. Straining and annealing the material locks the particles in place, increasing thermal conductivity and introducing a degree of directionality to it. The thermal conductivity increases with strain and is one of the highest known for a soft material. Combined with being electrically insulating, this makes ISURF #04968 particularly interesting as a heat sink material.


  • Thermal conductivity increases with strain
  • Electrically insulative
  • Thermal conductivity able to have degree of directionality due to the strain field applied to the material
  • Better thermal performance

Combination of electrical insulation and high thermal conductivity make this material useful for wiring applications in high heat environments

Patent(s) applied for


Development Stage:
Material needs to be optimized before production.


Contact Information

TTO Home Page:

Name: Jack Hartwigsen

Title: Technology Marketing Manager

Department: Iowa State Research Foundation


Phone: 515-294-4740