– Glowing Crystals –
Department – Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering (Graduate Student) –
Research Field – Materials Science –
How image was captured – Optical microscope at 50x, under either UV or white light –
Research Impact & Significance – The crystals pictured are europium dibenzoylmethide triethylamine (EuD4TEA) crystals which are the brightest triboluminescent (TL) material known. TL materials emit light when stressed or broken. Composites including TL materials emit light as they crack, allowing real-time in-situ damage monitoring. This type of monitoring can be used in every type of composite structure from concrete bridges to fiber-reinforced laminate airplanes. Knowing when and where damage occurs as it happens reduces maintenance costs and prevents catastrophic damage such as bridge collapse and airplane crashes.