Schematic representation of the experimental setup includes a UV excitation source, a motorized friction stage, an IR laser and a digital camera. The camera, omitted to preserve clarity, is mounted at a slight angle to the phosphor–polymer composite sample. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: 10.1038/s41377-019-0235-x

Mechanoluminescence (ML) is a type of luminescence induced by any mechanical action on a solid, leading to a range of applications in materials research, photonics and optics. For instance, the mechanical action can release energy previously stored in the crystal lattice of phosphor via trapped charge carriers. However, the method has limits when recording ML emissions during a pressure-induced event. In a new study, Robin R. Petit and a research team at the LumiLab, Department of Solid State Sciences at the Ghent University—Belgium devised a new technique to add a memory function to…



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