Cathodoluminescence is the emission of light as the result of electron (“cathode-ray”) bombardment. This phenomenon, first reported in the middle of the last century, was observed during the experiments on electrical discharges in evacuated glass tubes, which exhibited luminescence when cathode rays struck the glass. In fact, the observation of luminescence due to cathode ray bombardment led Thomson at the end of the nineteenth century to the discovery of the electron and the determination of its charge-to-mass ratio elm (Thomson, 1897). Other luminescence phenomena, such as, for example, photoluminescence, have been known and studied for much longer periods of time, since they do not require vacuum and concentrated sources of electrons, which are not readily available in the terrestrial environment.


Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy Luminescent Material Inorganic Solid Contactless Method Evacuate Glass Tube 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. G. Yacobi
    • 1
  • D. B. Holt
    • 2
  1. 1.Gatan Research and DevelopmentPleasantonUSA
  2. 2.Imperial College of Science and TechnologyUniversity of LondonLondonEngland

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