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Electroluminescence: Are We There Yet?

SpecialChem / Feb 1, 2010

Electroluminescence (EL) is a relatively simple technology that has been in commercial use for around 50 years. It is basically a sandwich of a material which lights up in the field of an alternating current. In this respect it is like microwave, where the polar water molecules turn back and forth in such an alternating field, and heat up when they do so. In EL, water is replced by phosphors; e.g., a zinc sulfide/managanese mix, and these substances emit light rather than heat. The color depends on the phosphor: the ZnS/Mn makes yellow, which can be further changed by colored filters, and there are organic phosphors as well as inorganics.

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