Science, Tech, Math › Science Glow in the Dark Duck Tape Triboluminescence Glow in the Dark Duck Tape Experiment Share Flipboard Email Print Duck tape is one of several types of friction tape that exhibit triboluminescence. Purestock, Getty Images Science Chemistry Projects & Experiments Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated March 06, 2017 You can use duck tape to see an example of triboluminescence, the glow given off when some materials are subjected to mechanical stress or friction. The duck tape (or duct tape) triboluminescence project is extremely easy and only take a few seconds to try. It doesn't matter whether you call the tape duck tape or duct tape, but your results seem to depend partially on the brand you use: Henkel™ works well. What You Do Tear off two strips of tape. Stick the pieces together with the sticky sides facing each other, leaving enough tape so that you can pull the strips apart. Turn out the lights. Give your eyes a minute or two to adjust to the dark. Pull the strips of tape apart. How It Works Did you see the blue line where the tape separated? This is triboluminescence, which is a type of luminescence triggered by mechanical energy or electrical energy from an action such as friction. You can get the same effect from other types of tape as well. A good one to try is transparent Scotch™ tape. If you have a hard time separating strips of tape with their sticky sides together, you can see the triboluminescent glow simply by pulling the tape (quickly) off of the roll, though the light will not be quite as bright.