Remember the solar powered Light Tree? It was a street light system with the look of a glowing tree. But how about a living tree emitting light of its own?
Researchers in Taiwan lead by scientist Dr. Yen-Hsun Wu have discovered that when gold nano-particles are introduced into leaves in the presence of high wavelength of ultraviolet light, it results in the leaves to emit a red luminous glow. “The gold nanoparticles were able to produce a blue-violet fluorescence to trigger a red emission in the surrounding chlorophyll.”
According to the researchers, they were looking for an environment-friendly lighting option better than the abundantly used energy-efficient LEDs.This is because LEDs make use of phosphor powder which is both highly toxic and expensive. Dr. Yen-Hsun Su states,“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.” So it looks like there’s a possibility for real trees to lighten up streets!