Tiny Tech #37: Out of the Wood and Into the Light?

Today from the world of Tiny Tech:

You can light fires with wood, but how about wood that emits light without burning? Scientists from New Zealand recently took thin sheets of balsa wood and extracted them with a solvent to dissolve away some of the more soluble components. They then filled the holes in the resulting porous, spongy solid with nano-sized luminescent quantum dots and coated the sheets with a silicone material to make the sheets waterproof. Upon exposure to ultraviolet light, the treated wood sheets emit visible light of different colors depending on the nanoparticles used.

The luminescent wood sheets are flexible, which makes them suitable for a variety of lighting applications. In theory the method can be scaled up to prepare large quantities of the sheets in a continuous roll-to-roll process. And because they are more biodegradable, the luminescent sheets are more eco-friendly than LEDs and many other light emitting materials.

So one day you might not need to burn a piece of wood to get light from it.

Would you believe it?

Tiny Tech is made possible by the National Science Foundation and WUFT.  To learn more about Tiny Tech, go to tinytechradio.org.

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