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Temporal image sticking characteristics on the bright screen produced by a negative sustain waveform were examined in comparison with those produced by a positive sustain waveform. From the monitoring of the differences in the display luminance, chromaticity coordinate, color temperature, infrared emission, and address current between the cells with and without temporal image sticking, it was observed that the negative sustain waveform contributed to the reduction of temporal image sticking. When applying the negative sustain waveform, ion bombardment of the phosphor layer was minimized during a sustain discharge, thereby reducing the absorption of H2O onto the phosphor layers, as confirmed by thermal desorption spectroscopy and photoluminescence analyses. As a result, the temporal image sticking characteristics were improved, mainly due to less degradation of the visible conversion and fewer changes of the characteristics of the phosphor layer by diminishing the absorption of H2O onto the phosphor layer.