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The mechanism to realize high luminous efficacy in a plasma display panel fabricated with a cathode material possessing a high secondary electron emission coefficient (γ) for Ne and Xe ions was studied via three-dimensional numerical simulation. When a high γ cathode material is used, the increased electron heating efficacy is responsible for increasing vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) efficacy with 10% Xe content gas. However, the continued availability of sufficient secondary electrons during the dynamic moving phase of the cathode sheath in which the electric field remains weakened causes increasing VUV efficacy with 30% Xe content gas. It was found that the improvement of the luminous efficacy of the plasma display panel with a high γ cathode material is maximized under the condition of high Xe content gas because of the simultaneous increase of the electron heating efficacy and Xe excitation efficacy.