High-performance single-unit and stacked inverted top-emitting electrophosphorescent organic light-emitting diodes
Knauer, Keith Anthony
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis reports on the design, fabrication, and testing of state-of-the-art, high-performance inverted top-emitting organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). The vast majority of research reports focuses on a device architecture referred to as a conventional OLED which has its anode on the bottom of the device and its cathode on the top. Moreover, most conventional OLEDs are bottom-emitting such that light exits the structure through both a semitransparent bottom electrode of indium-tin oxide and a glass substrate. The particular device architecture developed in this thesis is one in which the devices are inverted (i.e. their cathode is on the bottom as opposed to on top) and top-emitting. Despite the advantages that inverted top-emitting OLEDs possess over conventional bottom-emitting OLEDs, their development has been relatively slow. This is because inverted OLEDs have traditionally been hampered by the difficulty of injecting electrons effectively into the device. In this work, a novel method of injecting electrons from bottom cathodes into inverted OLEDs is discovered. In several previous reports, bottom Al/LiF cathodes had been used with the electron-transport material Alq3 to produce inverted OLEDs, but the resulting inverted OLEDs exhibited inferior performance to conventional OLEDs with top cathodes of Al/LiF. A new route for the development of highly efficient inverted OLEDs is shown through the use of electron-transport materials with high electron mobility values and large electron affinities. After systematic device optimization, inverted top-emitting OLEDs are demonstrated that currently define the state-of-the-art in terms of device efficiency. Optimized green and blue inverted top-emitting OLEDs are demonstrated that have a current efficacies of 92.5 cd/A and 32.0 cd/A, respectively, at luminance values exceeding 1,000 cd/m2. Finally, this discovery has enabled the development of the first stacked inverted top-emitting OLEDs ever made, combining all of the advantages offered by an inverted architecture, a top-emissive design, and a stacked structure. These OLEDs have a current efficacy of 200 cd/A at a luminance of 1011 cd/m2, attaining a maximum current efficacy of 205 cd/A at luminance of 103 cd/m2.