Thursday, 11 Nov, 2010 Science
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Scientists Turn Trees Into Street Lights

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A team of Taiwanese researchers discovered that trees emit a luminous reddish glow when gold nanoparticles are placed on their leaves.

Surely using trees instead of street light is an ingenious idea. This would not only considerably reduce electricity costs, but would also lower greenhouse gas emissions, especially in megapolises.

It would be interesting to know that the team made the discovery by accident. Scientists were looking for a way to make high-efficiency lighting similar to LED technology. At the same time they had the goal of creating the new type of lighting without making use of toxic chemicals like phosphor powder.

They introduced gold nanoparticles into the leaves of the Bacopa caroliniana plants, thus inducing the chlorophyll them to generate a red emission, reports Electro IQ.

"In the future, bio-LED could be used to make roadside trees luminescent at night. This will save energy and absorb CO2 as the bio-LED luminescence will cause the chloroplast to conduct photosynthesis," said Dr. Yen-Hsun Su.

The discovery was highly appreciated by the Royal Society of Chemistry, which is the largest European organization for advancing the chemical sciences. The study can now be found in the journal Nanoscale.

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