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A counter-electrode structure as a microscaled dielectric barrier discharge for an application to the alternating-current plasma display has been investigated with six in-test panels fabricated by using a thick-film ceramic-sheet method. Based on observations of infrared (IR) emission, the optimum sustain electrode gap to generate an efficient positive-column-like microdischarge plasma was suggested. The IR emission as well as the firing and sustain voltages increases with the increasing electrode gap, and the positive-column-like microdischarge plasma was built up for electrode gaps over 400 mum, which can be used for an intense vacuum ultraviolet source. Furthermore, the luminance and luminous efficiency, as well as the panel capacitance of the counter-electrode structure, were compared with those of the conventional reference structure.