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start:physics:general:persistent_luminescence

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Persistent luminescence

Persistent luminescence is the phenomenon found in materials which glow in the dark after the end of an excitation with UV or visible light. There are a number of such materials, routinely used in toys, watch dials, luminous paints, safety signs etc. They are mainly phosphors such as silver-activated zinc sulfide or doped strontium aluminate, and typically glows a pale green to greenish-blue color.

It has been known since the 1950s that the phenomenon involves so-called 'energy traps' (such as electron or hole trap) in a material, but the an exact explanation of the underlying physics is still lacking.

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