Patternable electrophosphorescent organic light-emitting diodes with solution-processed organic layers

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Haldi, Andreas
Kippelen, Bernard
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Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) have drawn much attention in the last two decades. In recent years, the power efficiency of OLEDs has been increased to exceed the efficiency of fluorescent light bulbs. However, such high-efficiency devices are typically based on small molecules that have to be evaporated in vacuum. A much higher fabrication throughput and therefore lowered costs are expected if high-efficiency OLEDs were processed from solution. This thesis shows how solution-processed electrophosphorescent multilayer OLEDs can be achieved by starting with an evaporated three-layer device structure and replacing layer by layer with a solution-processed layer. First, the hole-transport layer was replaced by a polymer and high efficiencies were observed when using a hole-transport polymer with a high ionization potential and a low hole mobility. Then, the emissive layer was replaced by a copolymer consisting of hole-transport groups and emissive complexes in its side-chains. OLEDs with four different colors are shown where the orange devices showed the highest efficiency. The orange copolymer was further optimized by making changes to the chemical nature of the polymer, such as different molecular weight, different concentrations of the emissive complex and different linkers between the side-chains and the polymer backbone. Finally, a three-layer solution-processed OLED was fabricated by crosslinking the hole-transport and the emissive layer, and by spin-coating an electron-transport polymer on top. Moreover, using the photocrosslinking properties of the emissive layer, solution-processed multilayer OLEDs of two different colors were patterned using photolithography to fabricate a white-light source with a tunable emission spectrum. Furthermore, with more and more organic semiconductors being integrated into the circuitry of commercial products, good electrical models are needed for a circuit design with predictive capabilities. Therefore, a model for the example of an organic single-layer diode is introduced in the last chapter of this thesis. The model has been implemented into SPICE and consists of an equivalent circuit that is mostly based on intrinsic material properties, which can be measured in independent experiments. The model has been tested on four different organic materials, and good agreement between model and experimental results is shown.
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