DIY Authentic Glowsticks

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Intro: DIY Authentic Glowsticks

The chemicals used to do this reaction are rather costly and very difficult to get unless you have a business address, however they are available through Kitables Glowkits. Click the following link to order a kit off of Kickstarter and help support the DIY Science!!

Step 1: Concentrations and Chemicals Used for Video:

If you do not wish to purchase a kit the following is what was used to make our kits...

The final concentrations of the components are as follows:
- 44.5mM TCPO (bis(2,4,6-trichlorophenyl) oxalate)
- .418mM Dye*
- Dissolve the above in DEP (Diethyl phthalate)
When you're ready to activate the glowstick
- Add 20% of your final volume in 3% Hydrogen peroxide

Dyes that we use in our kits:
Blue dye (9,10-Diphenylanthracene)
Green dye (9,10-Bis(phenylethynyl)anthracene)
Orange dye (Rhodamine 6G)
Yellow dye (Rubrene)

If you don't feel like converting to gram weights the following is per 1mL of glowstick.
( for example if you want a 20mL glowstick multiple all the gram weights and volumes by 20)
19mg TCPO
.19mg Dye
800uL DEP
200uL 3% Hydrogen Peroxide

As you may notice this protocol differs slightly from most on the internet as there is no base in my protocol. I have optimized this reaction for glowtime. The addition of a base component enhances the brightness slightly but does seem to lower glow time significantly in my hands.

Also I use 3% Hydrogen peroxide as opposed to 30%.I did this for a few reasons - 30% Hydrogen Peroxide is a strong oxidizer that can cause a good deal of harm, and acquiring 3% is much simpler (while shipping 30% is problematic).

The ester used (TCPO) does not fully dissolve in the solvent used. An optimized ester would solve this problem and I am currently looking for ones that may dissolve better in the solvent. Updates on that pursuit to follow!

That being said I know I have not fully optimized this reaction - too much CEO stuff not enough experiment time :), and optimization really depends on what characteristics you care about the most. So please feel free to leave comments on your results, and thoughts on the protocol.

Step 2: Examples of Finished 15mL Orange Stick



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