Recoverable electroluminescence from a contaminated organic/organic interface in an organic light-emitting diode

Liao, L. S.; Klubek, K. P.; Madathil, J. K.; Tang, C. W.; Giesen, D. J.
January 2010
Applied Physics Letters;1/25/2010, Vol. 96 Issue 4, p043302
Academic Journal
An organic/organic interface, like an electrode/organic interface in an organic light-emitting diode (OLED), can be severely affected by ambient contamination. However, we surprisingly found that the contaminated surface or interface can be “cured” by depositing a thin interfacial layer containing a strong reducing agent onto the contaminated surface before finishing the fabrication of the device. For example, in comparison with a regular OLED, an OLED having a 5-min ambient exposure to the light-emitting layer/electron-transporting layer interface drops its initial electroluminescence (EL) intensity by 50%. The decreased EL intensity due to the 5-min ambient exposure can be fully recovered and the improved operational stability can be realized after curing the contaminated interface using a thin Li interfacial layer. The experimental results provide a useful method to cope with the interfacial contamination in OLEDs during a manufacturing process. In addition, our results support the failure mechanism of an Alq-based OLED suggested by [Papadimitrakopoulos et al., Chem. Mater. 8, 1363 (1996)].


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