The Chemiluminescence Home Page


The following QuickTime movie, while rather large (1.1 MB; sorry-GIF animation doesn't squeeze down this kind of movie), is still a pretty good example of solution phase chemiluminescence. The oxidant is hydrogen peroxide and the fuel a peroxyoxylate ester (see Birks' book in the Chemiluminescence Home Page bibliography).

The reaction is started in the dark with the liquid oxidant (H2O2 dissolved in an organic solvent) already in the glass flask and then the liquid fuel is added quickly from above. These reactants are mixed together by gently swirling. The reaction's light emission reaches a maximum after about 10 seconds. If you look carefully you can see the chemist's hand as he manipulates the reaction vessel. Like most chemiluminescent reactions, none of the energy released by the reaction ends up as heat: The temperature of this reaction mixture is almost exactly the same as the temperature of the reagents before mixing.

This movie is 1.1 MB in size and you should use your monitor's highest resolution setting when viewing it. To keep the file size as small as possibe, there is no audio for this movie. But like all the movies on my pages it has been flattened for cross-platform compatability.

This movie was made by Dr. Thomas G. Chasteen at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas. The VHS signal was digitized by Apple's 24-bit internal video board in a Power PC 8500. It was put "together" and compressed using Avid Videoshop 3.02. The resolution had to be compromised to decrease the file size for Internet availability.

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