Multifunctional Soft Actuator Based on Dielectric Liquid with Simultaneous Luminance and Weight Lifting Capabilities

Dong Jin Han, Hea Ji Kim, Byung Yang Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Soft robots require soft actuators for mobility and functionality. To integrate multiple functions in a limited space, researchers are developing multifunctional soft actuators with several functions integrated in one device. This study successfully demonstrates an electroluminescent (EL) soft actuator, a single device with both light-emitting and actuating capabilities, using liquid dielectric and uniformly dispersed EL phosphor particles. EL phosphor particles are copper-doped zinc sulfide (ZnS) particles doped with copper. The work is able to disperse the ZnS particles uniformly in the oil by coating the ZnS particles with silica, ensuring consistent luminescence across the device's active area. The performance of the soft actuator is notable, with a strain of 25% and a maximum EL intensity of 23 cd m−2 for a single actuator. When stacking multiple actuators, the intensity exceeds 29 cd m−2. The findings suggest that EL actuator devices will be valuable smart components for soft robots and interactive sensors. They can effectively represent external stimuli through color signals, expanding the capabilities of these systems.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMacromolecular Materials and Engineering
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. Macromolecular Materials and Engineering published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • dielectric elastomer actuator
  • electroactive
  • electroluminescent device
  • phosphor
  • soft actuator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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