Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) and Optically-Detected Magnetic Resonance (ODMR) studies on organic materials
Organic semiconductors have evolved rapidly over the last decades and currently are considered as the next-generation technology for many applications, such as organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) in flat-panel displays (FPDs) and solid state lighting (SSL), and organic solar cells (OSCs) in clean renewable energy. This dissertation focuses mainly on OLEDs.
Although the commercialization of the OLED technology in FPDs is growing and appears to be just around the corner for SSL, there are still several key issues that need to be addressed: (1) the cost of OLEDs is very high, largely due to the costly current manufacturing process; (2) the efficiency of OLEDs needs to be improved. This is vital to the success of OLEDs in the FPD and SSL industries; (3) the lifetime of OLEDs, especially blue OLEDs, is the biggest technical challenge. All these issues raise the demand for new organic materials, new device structures, and continued lower-cost fabrication methods.
In an attempt to address these issues, we used solution-processing methods to fabricate highly efficient small molecule OLEDs (SMOLEDs); this approach is cost-effective in comparison to the more common thermal vacuum evaporation. We also successfully made efficient indium tin oxide (ITO)-free SMOLEDs to further improve the efficiency of the OLEDs. We employed the spin-dependent optically-detected magnetic resonance (ODMR) technique to study the luminescence quenching processes in OLEDs and organic materials in order to understand the intrinsic degradation mechanisms. We also fabricated polymer LEDs (PLEDs) based on a new electron-accepting blue-emitting polymer and studied the effect of molecular weight on the efficiency of PLEDs.
All these studies helped us to better understand the underlying relationship between the organic semiconductor materials and the OLEDs' performance, and will subsequently assist in further enhancing the efficiency of OLEDs. With strongly improved device performance (in addition to other OLEDs' attributes such as mechanical flexibility and potential low cost), the OLED technology is promising to successfully compete with current technologies, such as LCDs and inorganic LEDs.