High Voltage Electroluminescence

High voltage electroluminescence relies on an electrical breakthrough in a semicon­ducting material, which rationalizes the necessity to use rather high voltages. The voltage applied is typically of the order of 100 V. Charge carriers are generated and accelerated in the host lattice. In a next step, they can excite an activator ion. Gen­erally speaking, the lifetime of such electroluminescent devices can be long but the efficiencies are rather low (of the order of 1%) and consequently applications are found in sectors where reliability is an issue and efficiency considerations are not very important (emergency signs, exit signs and, interestingly, ceiling illumination in the Maybach premium car). Prominent materials are ZnS:Mn, ZnS:Cu or SrS:Ce.

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