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Glow sticks and electricity

  1. Jun 27, 2012 #1
    So from my understanding of glow sticks, the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide provides electrons that excites the fluorescent dye and gives off that classical glow-stick light source.

    My question is, could one put a DC current over the solution and still theoretically obtain the same result? If not, what could be done to achieve it from the glow stick dye [other than to put more hydrogen peroxide in there]?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 28, 2012 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    ... that would not be a good understanding of how a glowstick works. Looking at the chemistry I don't see stray electrons there.

    The other side of your question though: there are lots of ways to excite a florescent dye. You can certainly find a dye that will be excited in the presence of an electric field.

    I take it you have used-up glow-sticks you'd like to see glow again?
    I have not heard of them getting exited in electric fields. I have heard you can get them to light up again using heat. Not tried.
  4. Jun 29, 2012 #3
    Thanks Simon, much appreciated - can you please give an example of a dye that could do this with either an electric field or current? I tried looking it up, but did not return anything useful.
  5. Jun 30, 2012 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    More like you'd look for voltage sensitive dyes - they are used in cell biology and neuroscience. iirc: usually some kind of florescing protein.

    You'd put a vial of your dye between two charged plates :)
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