Triboluminescence

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Triboluminescence is an optical phenomenon in which light is generated through the breaking of chemical bonds in a material, when said material is crushed, pulled apart, ripped, scratched or rubbed together.

Triboluminescencent materials are commonly referred to as "smash glow crystals".

Mechanism

The phenomenon is not fully understood, but appears to be caused by the separation and reunification of electrical charges in the material.

Triboluminescencent materials are fluorescent when exposed to UV light, and glow with the same color they give when smashed.

Materials known to produce triboluminescence

  • N-acetylanthranilic acid[1]
  • Europium tetrakis (dibenzoylmethide)triethylammonium[2]
  • Hexakis(antipyrine)terbium(III) iodide
  • Quartz
  • Scotch tape pulled under vacuum produces small amounts of X-rays
  • Sugar (sucrose) crystals
  • Triphenylphosphinebis(pyridine)thiocyanato copper(I)[3][4]
  • Uranyl nitrate hexahydrate[5]

References

  1. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ed049p688
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQhLSoB-uBE
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPtCvReouCM
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UU9CxAgSykk
  5. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ic50145a021

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