Bright, wind-driven white mechanoluminescence from zinc sulphide microparticles embedded in a polydimethylsiloxane elastomer†
A variety of mechanoluminescent (ML) materials have recently reinvigorated studies of luminescence activated by mechanical stress, but few practical applications have been demonstrated due to the destructive nature of the process. To overcome these shortcomings, elastico-mechanoluminescent (elastico-ML) materials, which generate luminescence under elastic deformation, have been suggested with a view to their use in practical devices. However, the weak brightness and limited white colour expression of these materials must be resolved before they can be employed in practical applications. Here, we report a wind-driven ML device that produces significant brightness and emits warm/neutral/cool white light over a range of colour temperatures from zinc sulphide (ZnS) microscopic particles embedded in a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) composite. Harnessing wind-activated mechanoluminescent devices in practical displays or lighting systems could pave the way to new environmentally friendly lights, which reduce energy waste and promote sustainability.