Brief Communications

Nature 444, 163 (9 November 2006) | doi:10.1038/444163a; Received 20 June 2006; Accepted 12 October 2006; Published online 8 November 2006

Mechanoluminescence: Light from sonication of crystal slurries

Nathan C. Eddingsaas1 & Kenneth S. Suslick1

Mechanoluminescence, also known as triboluminescence or fractoluminescence, is light emission induced as a result of mechanical action on a solid1, 2, 3 — for example, Francis Bacon noted as long ago as 1605 that lumps of sugar emitted light when scraped4. Here we elicit mechanoluminescence by a new means, acoustic cavitation, and find intense luminescence and emission lines that are not generated by other mechanisms such as grinding, cleaving, rubbing, scratching, biting or thermal shock.

  1. Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA

Correspondence to: Kenneth S. Suslick1 Email: ksuslick@uiuc.edu

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