EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS (June 15, 12:15 p.m. ET) — Scientists at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have created a plastic that emits light when stretched. The researchers can make the material emit red, yellow, blue and green light.
The researchers incorporated dioxetane, an organic compound with a four-membered ring of two oxygen atoms and two carbon atoms, into their test samples. When pulled or flexed it emits light.
The researchers were looking at how mechanical forces can unlock new types of chemistry, according to Rint Sijbesma, a professor of supramolecular polymer chemistry at TU/e.
The transmitted light makes it possible to very accurately see where, when and how polymers break, he explained.