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Triboluminescence. Greek tribein (to rub) + Latin lumin (light) Light emitted when certain materials are rubbed, sawed, or struck. Mechanical stress separates charges Separated charges produce large electric field Accumulated charges jump gap, collide with nitrogen in air

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triboluminescence
Triboluminescence

Greek tribein (to rub) + Latin lumin (light)

Light emitted when certain materials are rubbed, sawed, or struck

  • Mechanical stress separates charges
  • Separated charges produce large electric field
  • Accumulated charges jump gap, collide with nitrogen in air
  • Nitrogen molecules emit light as they relax

Nitrogen emission

candy triboluminescence
Candy Triboluminescence

Wintergreen absorption/emission spectra

  • Sugar’s asymmetric crystal structure provides charge separation when broken
  • Most of nitrogen emission spectrum is UV
  • Wintergreen oil in Lifesavers absorbs UV and fluoresces blue light
  • Results in much more visible emission spectrum

Lifesaver emission spectrum