Stretchy Sensor Emits Light, Too | AIChE

Stretchy Sensor Emits Light, Too


A new stretchable, sensory “skin” can emit light of changing intensities as it is pulled, and may have applications in wearable displays, soft robotics, and adaptable interfaces.

Developed by researchers at Cornell Univ., the artificial skin is a hyperelastic light-emitting capacitor (HLEC) made of a zinc sulfide dielectric elastomer layer between two transparent hydrogel electrodes. The resulting rubbery sheet emits light of varying intensity as it is stretched. The more the material stretches, the more intense the light it emits. The material also senses deformation due to stretching or pressure by detecting changes in its capacitance.


A multi-pixel electroluminescent flexible display made of an 8-by-8 array of hyperelastic light-emitting capacitor (HLEC) pixels can be stretched, rolled, folded, and wrapped and continue to light up. The device is 5 mm thick and each pixel is 4 mm wide. Image courtesy of Cornell Univ.

“There are really two things we demonstrated,” says Robert Shepherd, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at...

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