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New glass-ceramic emits light when under mechanical stress

New glass-ceramic emits light when under mechanical stress
Researchers created a fresh glass-ceramic that emits light in reaction to mechanical stress. The highly transparent material is manufactured out of a potassium germanate glass matrix embedded with chromium-doped zinc gallate (ZGO) crystals that provide the material its mechanoluminescent properties. Credit:Lothar Wondraczek, Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Researchers have created a fresh glass-ceramic that emits light in reaction to mechanical stress, a house referred to as mechanoluminescence. With further development, the brand new material could possibly be used to make a light source that’s started up by mechanical stress. This may be ideal for monitoring stress in artificial joints in your body or providing warnings of dangerous stress or fractures in buildings, bridges along with other structures.

“Most materials exhibiting mechanoluminescence have already been made as powders, which aren’t very versatile,” said team leader Lothar Wondraczek from Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany. “We designed a -ceramic material with mechanoluminescence, that allows glass-like processing methods to be used to create just about any shapeincluding fiber, beads or microspheresthat could be incorporated into various components and devices.”

The study is reported in a particular problem of Optical Materials Express commemorating the US International Year of Glass 2022, which celebrates the fundamental role that glass plays in society.

The brand new highly transparent glass-ceramic is manufactured out of chromium-doped zinc gallate (ZGO) crystals embedded in a potassium germanate glass matrix. These crystals supply the material its mechanoluminescent properties but are so small they don’t notably affect the visual transparency of the glass.

“Our work may help mechanoluminescent materials find widespread used in a number of applications, including light-emitting product labels and security codes,” said Wondraczek. “In addition, it fits in well with the International Year of Glass by demonstrating the wide versatility and unexpected properties of glassy materials.”

A far more practical material

Not only is it difficult to create into various geometries, mechanoluminescent powders require extra processing steps such as for example encapsulation in a matrix material. To produce a more practical material, the researchers considered glass-ceramics.

Glass-ceramics certainly are a relatively new kind of material that includes a crystalline material embedded right into a glass matrix. The crystals may be used to give these materials very specific properties as the glass matrix allows them to be shaped with lots of the same processes useful for glass.

The researchers created the mechanoluminescent glass-ceramic by developing an exceedingly fast and stable crystallization process which allows the tiny ZGO crystals to precipitate homogeneously in the glass after it’s been shaped. They showed that the materials emitted light under utilizing the ball-drop test, a typical method of imparting a known impact force to a material. “We discovered that the mechanoluminescence response was reproducible and rechargeable and that it exhibited a primary correlation with the impact energy,” said Wondraczek.

Given that they will have demonstrated the material’s light-emitting properties, they intend to adapt the glass composition in order that it could be formed into sheet-like objects, and microscale spherical beads and explore how these could possibly be found in components and devices. In addition they try to exploit other features commonly related to glass-ceramicssuch as thermal, chemical and mechanical stabilityto gain new functions from the glassy .

More info: Jiangkun Cao et al, Mechanoluminescence from highly transparent ZGO:Cr spinel glass ceramics, Optical Materials Express (2022). DOI: 10.1364/OME.459185

Citation: New glass-ceramic emits light when under mechanical stress (2022, July 26) retrieved 26 July 2022 from

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