A novel, fully automated, fabrication and characterization apparatus for polymer light-emitting diodes (PLEDs) was developed. This high throughput apparatus allows the fabrication of 49 devices with a controlled variation of essential parameters like material, material composition, blend concentration, layer thickness, and annealing temperature. Up to now, due to a lack of elaborate design tools, extensive experimental effort is required in order to optimize novel materials, material combinations and device structures for polymer based LEDs. Our novel apparatus provides an extensive dataset which can be used for device optimization and a profound device modeling offering a deeper theoretical understanding of underlying device physics in PLEDs.
The role of copper-phthalocyanine (CuPc) has intermediate layer between the anode and the hole-transport layer in multilayer organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs) was studied. The OLEDs consisted of CuPc, N,N'-di(naphtalene-1-yl)-N,N'-diphenyl-benzidine (NPB) as hole-transport layer and tris-(8-hydroxyquinolinato)-aluminum (Alq3) as electron-transport and emitting layer sandwiched between a high-work-function metal and a semi-transparent calcium cathode. A combinatorial approach that allows the simultaneous fabrication of 10 x 10 individual devices was used to vary the thicknesses of CuPc and NPB over a broad range from 0 to 45 nm and from 10 to 100 nm, respectively. Systematic current-voltage and impedance measurements revealed a redistribution of the internal electric field of the CuPc/NPB/Alq3 three-layer structure compared to that of the NPB/Alq3 bilayer OLED. It was demonstrated that the hole transport is mainly controlled by the internal energy barrier at the CuPc/NPB interface. The fact that CuPc strongly impedes hole injection into NPB also has a significant impact on the frequency-dependent behavior of the capacitance, especially the cutoff frequency.
In order to get a detailed understanding of organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs), optimize their performance and provide reliable data for device modeling, we have developed an ultra-high vacuum (UHV) evaporation system for combinatorial studies. Our system allows the simultaneous fabrication of 10 x 10 individual devices on one substrate enabling a systematic variation of material combinations and electrodes as well as device parameters such as layer thickness, layer sequence, dye dopant concentrations. Here, we present an overview of the capabilities of combinatorial methods for electrical and electro-optical device optimization. We show results on multilayer OLEDs ranging from the conventional copper-phthalocyanine (CuPc)/N,N'-di(naphtalene-1-yl)-N,N'-diphenyl-benzidine (NPB)/ and tris-(8-hydroxyquinolinato)aluminum (Alq) trilayer device to double-doped, red-emitting OLEDs with efficiencies up to 1.5 cd/A at 20 mA/cm2 measured through a semitransparent metal electrode and CIE color coordinates of x=0.65, y=0.34.
The influence of interfacial charges on the device characteristics of multilayer organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) is investigated, and a concept to improve device performance is presented. We studied devices consisting of copper phthalocyanine (CuPc) as hole injection and buffer layer, N, N'-di(naphthalene-1-yl)-N,N'-diphenyl-benzidine (NPB) as hole transport layer, and tris(8- hydroxyquinolinato)aluminum (Alq3) as electron transport and emitting layer sandwiched between a high-work-function metal and a semi-transparent calcium electrode. Detailed current-voltage measurements show that the device characteristics in negative bias direction and at low positive bias below the built-in voltage depend strongly on the bias sweep direction, indicating that interfacial charges have a pronounced influence on the device characteristics. Low-frequency capacitance-voltage experiments reveal a voltage-independent capacitance in negative bias direction and a significant increase between 0 and 2 V, evidence of a redistribution of the internal electric field in this device configuration. Time-resolved electroluminescence (EL) measurements proved that also the EL response time at low voltages is governed by the accumulation of charge carriers inside the device rather than by their transport. Optimizing the device structure by grading the organic-organic interfaces results in an enhanced current flow, an improved brightness, and a faster EL response time. Our investigations clearly indicate that the abrupt CuPc-NPB as well as the NPB-Alq3 interface significantly influence the performance of our multilayer OLED.