I-Corps: Liquid-Metal Optically Reflective Coatings for Deformable Mirrors

Project Details


The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project potentially includes any application that requires mirrors. The coating technology reduces mirror production costs and enables the coating of mirror films over a large area and an increased variety of surfaces. Some examples of possible applications include solar thermal heating for power generation or industrial processes. The use of mirrors in these applications enables the use of clean, renewable energy.The technology developed from this research is an an optically reflective coating using a metal that is liquid at room temperature. The metal is a low-toxicity gallium-based alloy that can be sprayed onto surfaces to form mirrors. The coating technique is simpler than current methods of manufacturing mirrors, allowing the coating of larger surfaces and the coating of a greater variety of materials. An initial prototype shows that the liquid-metal mirror coating has a higher optical reflectivity than that of aluminum. This innovative application of liquid metal along with the simple coating technique is inexpensive, simple, and can be applied on-site using mobile coating units, saving time and money.This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Effective start/end date1/01/1931/12/22


  • United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF)