Discovery and Optimization of New ZnO-Based Phosphors Using a Combinatorial Method


  • The authors thank Drs Yasumasa Takeuchi, F. Imaizumi, and Shigeo Itoh for their continuous support and helpful discussions.


The combinatorial method, which was exclusively employed for the drug discovery until recently, has invaded the field of inorganic materials and is becoming a key technology in materials science today. Phosphors, with their diversity of possible mechanisms of luminescence, represent a typical example of a field where the combinatorial approach promises to be especially fruitful. Here, we present the results of systematic combinatorial exploration of different binary and ternary ZnO:dopant systems, which resulted in identification of bright luminescence in ZnO:(Y,Eu), ZnO:V, ZnO:W, and ZnO:(W,Mg) systems. Careful “zooming in”, i.e., fabrication and screening of more detailed libraries near the identified promising compositions, allowed us to find optimum phosphor compositions for the above-mentioned systems. The efficiency of the new phosphors in low-voltage cathodoluminescence is high and promises their prospective use in advanced flat panel display and lighting applications.