Langmuir, Vol.36, No.5, 1165-1173, 2020
Tribo-Induced Near-Infrared Light Emission between Metal and Quartz
Triboluminescence (TL) refers to the luminescence phenomenon at the material surface under the action of pressure or shear. This fascinating phenomenon can directly convert mechanical energy into light emission without the need for other auxiliary components; therefore, it attracts more and more researchers to conduct research in different wavelength ranges, such as X-ray, ultraviolet, visible light, and terahertz. However, there have been few reports on the study of the near-infrared (NIR) range, which is very important in the integrity of the triboluminescence research. In this research, we found that NIR light with a wavelength ranging from 800 to 1000 nm was generated by friction between solid metals and a quartz crystal. Analysis of the cross section of the quartz disk after friction revealed that the TL phenomenon had a strong relationship with the doping of metal grains into the silica. Density functional theory (DFT) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy were also conducted to further identify the results. We infer that such light emission arises from the implantation of metal grains into the surface of the quartz, which forms a metal insulator junction with amorphous silica. Moreover, electron transition between the metal and the insulator, followed by a transition at the center of the defects, causes near-infrared light emission. Our research reveals the infrared luminescence behavior from a different perspective, the transfer of materials, and perhaps deepens the understanding of the near-infrared emission mechanism.