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Diphenyl oxalate (trademark name Cyalume) is a solid ester whose oxidation products are responsible for the chemiluminescence in a glowstick. It can be synthesized by fully esterifying phenol with oxalic acid. The reaction with hydrogen peroxide that diphenyl oxalate undergoes to produce a photon of light is shown below:
Additional recommended knowledge
The reaction rate is pH dependent, and slightly alkaline conditions achieved by adding a weak base, e.g. sodium salicylate, will produce brighter light. The 2,4,6-trichlorophenole ester of oxalic acid is a solid and thus easier to handle. Furthermore, since trichlorophenolate is the better leaving group, the reaction will proceed faster, again producing brighter light, as compared to the phenole ester.
The following colors can be produced by using different dyes:
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Diphenyl_oxalate". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|