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A luminophore is an atom or atomic grouping in a chemical compound that manifests luminescence. There exist organic and inorganic luminophores. It should be stressed that the correct, textbook terminology is luminophore, not lumophore, although the latter term has been frequently but erroneously used in the chemical literature.

Luminophores can be divided into two subcategories: fluorophores and phosphors. The difference between luminophores belonging to these two subcategories is derived from the nature of the excited state responsible for the emission of photons. Some luminophores, however, cannot be classified as being exclusively fluorophores or phosphors and exist in the gray area in between. Such cases include transition metal complexes (such as ruthenium tris-2,2'-bipyridine) whose luminescence comes from an excited (nominally triplet) metal-to-ligand charge transfer (MLCT) state, but which is not a true triplet-state in the strict sense of the definition.

Most luminophores consist of conjugated pi systems or transition metal complexes. There exist purely inorganic luminophores, such as zinc sulfide doped with rare earth metal ions, rare earth metal oxysulfides doped with other rare earth metal ions, yttrium oxide doped with rare earth metal ions, zinc orthosilicate doped with manganese ions, etc. Luminophores can be observed in action in fluorescent lights, TV screens, computer monitor screens, organic light-emitting diodes and bioluminescence.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Luminophore". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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