Visible light can be used as a method of communication that can help us with everyday situations. In nature, light can be used to communicate intentions or emotions. What if we could use light to communicate our own emotions?
In an article in Advanced Materials, Prof. Fengyu Li and Prof. Yanlin Song from the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ICCAS), and their co-workers demonstrate a flexible mechanoluminescent (ML) material that could be used to detect the weak changes in strain associated with facial emotions.
Prof. Yanlin Song: “In this work, we used the direct-writing method to prepare a flexible and highly sensitive ML device.”
Mr. Zheren Cai: “ML microparticles were dispersed in PDMS and printed out to form flexible devices. For various flexible and sensitive scenes, SiO2 nanoparticles were doped to adjust the elasticity modulus of PDMS matrix. The doped nanoparticles can concentrate stress to ML microparticles, and achieve intense luminance under weak stimuli of small strain like the skin moving.”
As the elastic modulus of the film is increased, the luminescence intensity also increases. Similarly, an increase in the strain enhances the luminescence.
Printed patterns were attached to the human facial skin and were shown to illuminate under weak facial strain. This demonstrates one of the potential uses of these films for advancing human social interactions.