Mechanically driven light emission from particles embedded in elastomer films has recently attracted interest as a strong candidate for next-generation light sources on display devices because it is nondestructive, reproducible, real-time, environmentally friendly, and reliable. The origin of mechanoluminescence (ML) obtained from particles embedded in elastomer films have been proposed as the trapping of drifting charge carriers in the presence of a piezoelectric field. However, in this study, we propose a new origin of ML through the study of the microstructure of a Cu-doped ZnS particles embedded in an elastomer composite film with high brightness using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to clearly demonstrate the origin of ML with respect to the microstructure of ML composite films. The TEM characterization of the ML composite film demonstrated that the Cu-doped ZnS particles were fully encapsulated by a 500 nm thick Al layer, which acts as an electron source for ML emission. Furthermore, we fabricated a flexible electro-mechanoluminescence (EML) device using a Cu-doped ZnS particles embedded in a flexible elastomer composite film. Our research results on a new emission mechanism for ML and its application in flexible light generating elastomer films represent an important step toward environmentally benign and ecofriendly flexible electro-mechanoluminescent lighting devices.
- Cu-doped ZnS
- flexible electro-mechanoluminescent lighting
- mechanoluminescence (ML)
- microstructural study
- origin of ML emission
- transmission electron microscopy (TEM)