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Light from sonication of crystal slurries

Naturevolume 444page163 (2006) | Download Citation


Light flashes sparked by acoustic shock waves far outshine those created by manual crushing.


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.

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

    • Nathan C. Eddingsaas
    •  & Kenneth S. Suslick


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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence to Kenneth S. Suslick.

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