Those who follow Jeri’s mad-scientist-like curiosity and sci-tech explorations in her many YouTube vids know that she’s recently been hot to create electroluminescence. In this vid, she tries to make her own phoshor. It didn’t quite work out, but she explains the process and then shows something cool that she did discover, triboluminescence, the optical phenom that occurs when crystal (or other) material is crushed, rubbed, pulled apart, etc. (think: Wint-O-Green Life Savers). Actually, when it’s crystals being crushed, it’s more specifically known as fractoluminescence. Keep at it, Jeri! We know you’ll have a homebrewed EL display in no time.

Triboluminescence – Batteries, Glow Paint and Fire

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


  • TotalMonkey

    Jeri is awesome. I mean totally.
    http://totalmonkey.com/index.php?itemid=6

  • Carnes

    Oh gosh, taking apart batteries. First time i did it was a C or D.. with no eye protection. I pulled a pin out of the top and gray goo blasted out and stuck to the wall several feet away. AWESOME! That might have been the last time i took one apart too.

    It’s funny to look back at all the exploration and experimenting that should have resulted in a lost eye or limb (unless you lost something.. then i apologize for making light of it).

  • Math Campbell

    As she skims over briefly in the video, you can test out fractoluminescence yourself with sugar crystals.

    Bigger the crystals the better for some odd reason…