SPIE Photonics West 1997
Conference paper

Materials and modeling for organic light-emitting diodes

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Polymer light-emitting diodes, based for example on MEH-PPV, are known to be susceptible to oxidative degradation. This leads to loss of conjugation, i.e. lower carrier mobility and higher operating voltage, and to the formation of carbonyl species, i.e. to luminescence quenching. In-situ FTIR has revealed that ITO can act as the source of oxygen. In order to explore further the mechanism of oxidation and to provide guidance for its elimination, we have studied the behavior of MEH-PPV LEDs prepared with a variety of conducting polymer anodes including polyaniline and polythiophene derivatives cast from various solvents and with various molecular and polymeric dopants. In all cases examined, it is found that polymer anodes lead to significant improvement in lifetime over devices with ITO as the anode contact. Moreover, in contrast to the variability observed for ITO anodes, conducting polymers with polymers with polymeric dopants yield consistently good devices with power efficiencies of about 0.5 percent at 5 volts and brightness in excess of 1000 cd/m2. Anodes prepared with small molecule dopants are more variable and exhibit short term behavior which suggests interfacial electrochemistry. We describe the device characteristics in the context of a model of hole-dominated bipolar charge injection with Langevin recombination. ©2004 Copyright SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering.