Enhanced Light Extraction from OLEDs Fabricated on Patterned Plastic Substrates

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Hippola, Chamika
Kaudal, Rajiv
Manna, Eeshita
Xiao, Teng
Peer, Akshit
Biswas, Rana
Shinar, Joseph
Shinar, Ruth
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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Physics and Astronomy
Physics and astronomy are basic natural sciences which attempt to describe and provide an understanding of both our world and our universe. Physics serves as the underpinning of many different disciplines including the other natural sciences and technological areas.
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Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) contains two focuses. The focus on Electrical Engineering teaches students in the fields of control systems, electromagnetics and non-destructive evaluation, microelectronics, electric power & energy systems, and the like. The Computer Engineering focus teaches in the fields of software systems, embedded systems, networking, information security, computer architecture, etc.

The Department of Electrical Engineering was formed in 1909 from the division of the Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering. In 1985 its name changed to Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. In 1995 it became the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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  • Department of Electrical Engineering (1909-1985)
  • Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering (1985-1995)

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A key scientific and technological challenge in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) is enhancing the light outcoupling factor ηout, which is typically <20%. This paper reports experimental and modeling results of a promising approach to strongly increase ηout by fabricating OLEDs on novel flexible nanopatterned substrates that result in a >2× enhancement in green phosphorescent OLEDs (PhOLEDs) fabricated on corrugated polycarbonate (PC). The external quantum efficiency (EQE) reaches 50% (meaning ηout ≥50%); it increases 2.6x relative to a glass/ITO device and 2× relative to devices on glass/poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) or flat PC/PEDOT:PSS. A significant enhancement is also observed for blue PhOLEDs with EQE 1.7× relative to flat PC. The corrugated PC substrates are fabricated efficiently and cost-effectively by direct room-temperature molding. These substrates successfully reduce photon losses due to trapping/waveguiding in the organic+anode layers and possibly substrate, and losses to plasmons at the metal cathode. Focused ion beam gauged the conformality of the OLEDs. Dome-shaped convex nanopatterns with height of ∼280–400 nm and pitch ∼750–800 nm were found to be optimal. Substrate design and layer thickness simulations, reported first for patterned devices, agree with the experimental results that present a promising method to mitigate photon loss paths in OLEDs.