Extracting the “internally waveguided” light from OLEDs, which together with losses to plasmons at the metal cathode typically account for > 50% of the light generated in the emission zone, has proven to be a particularly challenging problem. To address this problem, we fabricated devices on nano-patterned plastic substrates that disrupt the internal waveguiding. We describe thermally evaporated small molecule fluorescent and phosphorescent OLEDs fabricated on corrugated polycarbonate (PC) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrates nanopatterned in a roll-to-roll process. We compare the devices fabricated on plastic/ITO to those on plastic/PEDOT:PSS and the effect of adding a µm-scale Cu honeycomb mesh to the integrated substrate/anode as well. Depending on the height and pitch of the pattern, up to a 2.5 fold increase in the outcoupling factor is observed relative to the flat substrate. Issues related to the fidelity of the conformal deposition of the various layers on the patterned plastic are also discussed, particularly the effect of the nanopatterns on device stability.
We describe ongoing advances toward achieving all-organic optical sensors and a spectrometer on a chip. Two-dimensional combinatorial arrays of microcavity OLEDs (μcOLEDs) with systematically varying optical cavity lengths are fabricated on a single chip by changing the thickness of different organic and/or spacer layers sandwiched between two metal electrodes (one very thin) that form the cavity. The broad spectral range is achieved by utilizing materials that result in white OLEDs (WOLEDs) when fabricated on a standard ITO substrate. The tunable and narrower emissions from the μcOLEDs serve as excitation sources in luminescent sensors and in monitoring light absorption. For each wavelength, the light from the μcOLED is partially absorbed by a sample under study and the light emitted by an electronically excited sample, or the transmitted light is detected by a photodetector (PD). To obtain a compact monitor, an organic PD (OPD) or a perovskite-based PD is integrated with the μcOLED array. We show the potential of encompassing a broader wavelength range by using WOLED materials to fabricate the μcOLEDs. The utility of the all-organic analytical devices is demonstrated by monitoring oxygen, and bioanalytes based on oxygen detection, as well as the absorption spectra of dyes.
We describe ongoing advances toward achieving an integrated all-organic spectrometer on a chip. To this end, 2-dimensional combinatorial arrays of microcavity (μc) organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) with systematically varying optical cavity lengths were fabricated on a single chip by changing the thickness of different organic and/or spacer layers sandwiched between the two metal electrodes. The latter, one of which is semitransparent, form the cavity. The tunable and narrower emissions from the μcOLEDs serve as excitation sources of varying wavelength for monitoring light absorption or emission. For each wavelength, the light from the μcOLED is partially absorbed by the sample under study and the transmitted light (or the light emitted by an electronically excited sample) is detected by a photodetector (PD). To obtain a compact monitor, an organic PD (OPD) is fabricated and integrated with the μcOLED array. We show the potential of encompassing a broader wavelength range by using μcOLEDs based on different emitting layers. The OPD used to realize the first all-organic integrated spectrometer described here is based on P3HT:PCBM, though more sensitive OPDs we utilized in sensing applications are expected to improve the spectrometers’ performance. The utility of this all-organic μcOLED/OPD spectrometer is shown for monitoring the absorption spectra of P3HT and Alexa Fluor 405 films. The results show excellent agreement with the absorption spectra obtained with a commercial Ocean Optics spectrometer.