The environmental and economic benefits of phosphor-converted white-light-emitting diodes (pc-WLEDs) have been increasingly appreciated in recent years. However, a significant challenge in this field pertains to a phenomenon known as thermal quenching, which takes place inside phosphors and leads to a pronounced reduction of the emission intensity under high-power light-emitting diode operation. The development of new, more thermally stable phosphors depends on a better understanding of the mechanisms underpinning thermal quenching in phosphors. Here we review the current understanding of thermal quenching mechanisms in Ce3+-doped garnet phosphors, which are widely considered one of the most important families of phosphors for application in pc-WLEDs. In particular, we highlight key structural and dynamical properties, such as the coordination environment of the Ce3+ ions, phonons and local vibrational modes, and structural and chemical defects, which are shown to correlate with phosphor performance. We also discuss the perspectives for future studies in this field in hopes of accelerating the development of new efficient phosphors featuring suppressed thermal quenching of luminescence.
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