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Electronic Structure Descriptor for the Discovery of Narrow-Band Red-Emitting Phosphors

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posted on 09.05.2016, 00:00 by Zhenbin Wang, Iek-Heng Chu, Fei Zhou, Shyue Ping Ong
Narrow-band red-emitting phosphors are a critical component of phosphor-converted light-emitting diodes for highly efficient illumination-grade lighting. In this work, we report the discovery of a quantitative descriptor for narrow-band Eu2+-activated emission identified through a comparison of the electronic structures of known narrow-band and broad-band phosphors. We find that a narrow emission bandwidth is characterized by a large splitting of more than 0.1 eV between the two highest Eu2+ 4f7 bands. By incorporating this descriptor in a high-throughput first-principles screening of 2259 nitride compounds, we identify five promising new nitride hosts for Eu2+-activated red-emitting phosphors that are predicted to exhibit good chemical stability, thermal quenching resistance, and quantum efficiency, as well as narrow-band emission. Our findings provide important insights into the emission characteristics of rare-earth activators in phosphor hosts and a general strategy to the discovery of phosphors with a desired emission peak and bandwidth.