Saturation Mechanisms in Common LED Phosphors

Marie Anne Van De Haar*, Mohamed Tachikirt, Anne C. Berends, Michael R. Krames, Andries Meijerink, Freddy T. Rabouw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Downloads (Pure)


Commercial lighting for ambient and display applications is mostly based on blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) combined with phosphor materials that convert some of the blue light into green, yellow, orange, and red. Not many phosphor materials can offer stable output under high incident light intensities for thousands of operating hours. Even the most promising LED phosphors saturate in high-power applications, that is, they show decreased light output. The saturation behavior is often poorly understood. Here, we review three popular commercial LED phosphor materials, Y3Al5O12 doped with Ce3+, CaAlSiN3 doped with Eu2+, and K2SiF6 doped with Mn4+, and unravel their saturation mechanisms. Experiments with square-wave-modulated laser excitation reveal the dynamics of absorption and decay of the luminescent centers. By modeling these dynamics and linking them to the saturation of the phosphor output intensity, we distinguish saturation by ground-state depletion, thermal quenching, and ionization of the centers. We discuss the implications of each of these processes for LED applications. Understanding the saturation mechanisms of popular LED phosphors could lead to strategies to improve their performance and efficiency or guide the development of new materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1784-1793
Number of pages10
JournalACS Photonics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2021


  • droop
  • lanthanides
  • LEDs
  • Mnluminescence
  • phosphors
  • saturation
  • spectroscopy


Dive into the research topics of 'Saturation Mechanisms in Common LED Phosphors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this