Phil Mogel, for Kimberly-Clark, said: "We are aware of triboluminescence.
Triboluminescence is not common in nappies but it has been suggested some manufacturers could market the device as an aid to finding babies in the dark.
Tribogenics is an innovator of triboluminescence
based X-ray technology for industrial, medical, and scientific industries.
They tested the crystals for triboluminescence by mashing them with a glass rod in a test tube and watching carefully for light.
Moreover, those symmetrical crystals lost their triboluminescence once they were purified.
Those local structural asymmetries could explain why materials that are symmetrical overall can still exhibit triboluminescence, Sweeting says.
The triboluminescence of wintergreen candy has also been known for a long time, althoug various problems have limited its spectral characterization.
Although she investigated the unexplained candy-flashing phenomenon "just because it was there," Sweeting later realized her findings point toward "something that could be important"--what lies behind the triboluminescence of other perplexing crystals.
This result suggests a general theory of triboluminescence based on the way electrical charge is separated when crystalline compounds are fractured.
Earlier research had indicated that electrical effects play animportant role in triboluminescence.
We believe this discovery of the importance of disorderprovides a sufficient condition for the triboluminescence of other centrosymmetric crystals,' the researchers conclude, "and that the triboluminescence of other fluorescent materials is excited by light generated by a gas discharge.