Electroluminescence

From Academic Kids

Electroluminescence (EL) is an optical phenomenon and electrical phenomenon where a material emits light in response to an electric current passed through it, or to a strong electric field. This is distinct to light emission resulting from heat (incandescence) or from the action of chemicals (chemoluminescence).

Mechanism

Electroluminescence is the result of radiative recombination of electrons and holes in a material (usually a semiconductor). The excited electrons release their energy as photons - light. Prior to recombination, electrons and holes are separated either as a result of doping of the material to form a p-n junction (in semiconductor electroluminescent devices such as LEDs), or through excitation by impact of high-energy electrons accelerated by a strong electric field (as with the phosphors in electroluminescent displays).

Examples of electroluminescent materials

External links

  • Overview (http://www.indiana.edu/~hightech/fpd/papers/ELDs.html) of electroluminescent display technology, and the discovery of electroluminescence.

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