Since the mid-1990s, phosphors have played a key role in emerging solid-state white-lighting technologies that are based on combining a III-nitride-based near-UV or blue solid-state light source with downconversion to longer wavelengths. Almost all widely used phosphors comprise a crystalline oxide, nitride, or oxynitride host that is appropriately doped with either Ce3+ or Eu2+. These ions, with [Xe] 450 configurations ( = 1 for Ce3+ and 7 for Eu2+) have proximal excited states that are [Xe] 4−151. Optical excitation into these states and concomitant reemission can be tuned into the appropriate regions of the visible spectrum by the crystal these ions are hosted in. In this article, we review the current needs and key aspects of the conversion process. We describe some currently used families of phosphors and consider why they are suitable for solid-state lighting. Finally, we describe some empirical rules for new and improved host materials.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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