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To achieve a high luminous efficacy in a plasma display panel, the display characteristics, including the luminance, discharge current, and luminous efficacy, were investigated with various coplanar gaps. The temporal behavior of the infrared emission from 80-, 150-, 200-, and 300-μm coplanar gap discharges was also studied. The luminance and luminous efficacy increased as the coplanar gap increased until 200 μm. However, when the coplanar gap was 300 μm with a fixed barrier rib height of 150 μm, the luminous and luminous efficacy suddenly decreased. This phenomenon can be explained by the results of the infrared emission observation, as the discharge shape of the 300-μm coplanar gap became narrow when the height of barrier rib was fixed at 150 μm. The luminous efficacy of the 200-μm coplanar gap discharge was about 3.2 lm/W (green cells) when an Ne+4%Xe gas mixture was used as the discharge gas in the alternating current plasma display panel.