|Alma mater||École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures|
In 1926 Destriau became an engineer at the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in Paris. Thereafter he worked in the X-ray device industry. From 1932 until 1941 Destriau worked at the centre national de la recherche scientifique. A brief stay at the University of Bordeaux was followed in 1943 by a move to Paris. In 1946 Destriau became Professor at the University Poitiers and in 1954 at the Sorbonne in Paris. Later, Destriau worked for Westinghouse Electric.
Destriau worked in the field of magnetism and X-ray dosimetry of ionizing radiation. Most well-known is his research on electroluminescence, which he carried out in 1935 in the Paris laboratory of the Marie Curie, who died two years earlier. Destriau observed that zinc sulfide crystals would fluoresce when doped with traces of copper ions and suspended in castor oil between two Mica platelets and applying a strong alternating electric field. Later he replaced the castor oil and the mica through a polymer binder.
The effect of electroluminescence is therefore also referred to in some publications as the Destriau effect . Destriau was also the first to use the term 'electrophotoluminescence', according to some publications. He himself called the light in his publications Losev-Light, after the Russian Radio Frequency Technician Oleg Losev who in 1927 worked with Silicon Carbide Crystals to induce a light effect (also electroluminescence).