Efficient light-emitting diodes based on polymers with high electron affinities

N. C. Greenham, S. C. Moratti, D. D.C. Bradley, R. H. Friend, A. B. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1716 Scopus citations

Abstract

CONJUGATED polymers have been incorporated as active materials into several kinds of electronic device, such as diodes, transistors1 and light-emitting diodes2. The first polymer light-emitting diodes were based on poly(p-phenylene vinylene) (PPV), which is robust and has a readily processible precursor polymer. Electroluminescence in this material is achieved by injection of electrons into the conduction band and holes into the valence band, which capture one another with emission of visible radiation. Efficient injection of electrons has previously required the use of metal electrodes with low work functions, primarily calcium; but this reactive metal presents problems for device stability. Here we report the fabrication of electroluminescent devices using a new family of processible poly(cyanoterephthalylidene)s. As the lowest unoccupied orbitals of these polymers (from which the conduction band is formed) lie at lower energies than those of PPV, electrodes made from stable metals such as aluminium can be used for electron injection. For hole injection, we use indium tin oxide coated with a PPV layer; this helps to localize charge at the interface between the PPV and the new polymer, increasing the efficiency of recombination. In this way, we are able to achieve high internal efficiencies (photons emitted per electrons injected) of up to 4% in these devices. © 1993 Nature Publishing Group.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature
Volume365
Issue number6447
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993
Externally publishedYes

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