Efficient CsF/Yb/Ag cathodes for organic light-emitting devices

Chan, M. Y.; Lai, S. L.; Fung, M. K.; Tong, S. W.; Lee, C. S.; Lee, S. T.
March 2003
Applied Physics Letters;3/17/2003, Vol. 82 Issue 11, p1784
Academic Journal
A high-performance cathode consisting of an ultrathin CsF layer and a rare-earth ytterbium (Yb) metal is reported for application in organic electroluminescent devices. Standard tris-(8-hydroxyquinoline) aluminum/α-napthylphenylbiphenyl diamine devices with this bilayer cathode showed dramatically reduced operating voltage and a low turn-on voltage of 2.42 V as compared to 3.75 and 2.95 V in devices using, respectively, the Mg:Ag and single-layer Yb cathodes. At a current density of 200 mA/cm², devices with the CsF/Yb cathode exhibited high luminance efficiency of 3.45 cd/A and power efficiency of 1.27 lm/W. Analysis by x-ray photoemission spectroscopy suggested that the performance improvement is related to the substantial reduction of electron injection barrier at the cathode/organic interface. It was found that upon Yb deposition, CsF dissociates to liberate low work function Cs metal atoms resulting in a cathode with a lower electron injection barrier and thus a better balance of carriers in the device. Thermodynamically, this exothermic chemical reaction is expected to take place independent of the type of substrates and organic medium, indicating that this bilayer cathode system may be applicable in a wide range of organic electronic/optoelectronic devices.


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