How To Make Glow in the Dark Powder

How to make phosphorescent glow in the dark powder. Also known as luminescent, photoluminescent or simply glow powder.

Warning: This experiment uses mildly toxic chemicals, wear gloves when handling them. In addition, the combustion reaction must be performed outside or in a fume-hood due to the resulting smoke and gasses.

For this experiment you’ll need:
Strontium Nitrate:
Aluminum Nitrate:
Purification by recrystalization:
Europium and dysprosium nitrates:
And you’ll need nitric acid to make the above nitrates:

The procedure is relatively straightforward: 1.875g of aluminum nitrate nonahydrate with 530mg of strontium nitrate, 10.7mg of europium nitrate pentahydrate, 21.9mg of dysprosium nitrate pentahydrate and 30.9mg of boric acid are dissolved in 3mL of distilled water. 3.9g of pure urea is added and shaken until dissolved. The mixture is heated in a 1000watt microwave for 4 minutes. Eventually it’ll ignite and combust. The white “ash” is the glow powder.

Can be used in Glow in the Dark Paint if crushed into a powder and mixed with an appropriate clear paint/resin/lacquer/glue.


39 thoughts on “How To Make Glow in the Dark Powder

  1. Hello Dr. Lithium.
    I am very interested in your work, WOW you doing a awesome job.

    Please I got an important inquiry. If I don't have the MICROWAVE to ignite and combust the mixture, please let me know how can I ignite and combust the mixture without microwave??? in details please.


  2. To get the glow constant, you need to ensure it heats evenly and that no part of it overheats. I'm not sure that you can do that with your current setup.

  3. I'm not sure if this is already been suggested but if you pre powder all your components it will allow for a more even mix and that could potentially Aid in creating a pure and even substance

  4. Commercially pure urea is often made from the decomposition of methane, sometimes propane.

    In the future you can get lab grade urea from evaporating diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), that you can purchase at most automotive supply stores, and some hardware stores. It also forms a nice crystal.

  5. Fascinating experiment! Have you conducted any more since then? Btw, what is the best online source for the brightest/longest lasting strontium aluminate (Eu, Dy doped of course).

  6. wouldn't this degrade after being in the heat of say 1200-1400°F for a while? Would be great to see in glass! I just received some, & with the degradation in water, according to some articles, it may not work as well using water as a solvent (or perhaps not at all?)
    Great experiment! Something to try!!! not for using on skin for sure!!!

  7. I dont understand how all these precise measurements of how much to put have been made out. i mean what the hell do you measure until you get a reaction? or how ?

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