Decoupling degradation in exciton formation and recombination during lifetime testing of organic light-emitting devices

Kyle W. Hershey, John Suddard-Bangsund, Gang Qian, Russell J. Holmes

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12 Scopus citations


The analysis of organic light-emitting device degradation is typically restricted to fitting the overall luminance loss as a function of time or the characterization of fully degraded devices. To develop a more complete understanding of degradation, additional specific data are needed as a function of luminance loss. The overall degradation in luminance during testing can be decoupled into a loss in emitter photoluminescence efficiency and a reduction in the exciton formation efficiency. Here, we demonstrate a method that permits separation of these component efficiencies, yielding the time evolution of two additional specific device parameters that can be used in interpreting and modeling degradation without modification to the device architecture or introduction of any additional post-degradation characterization steps. Here, devices based on the phosphor tris[2-phenylpyridinato-C2,N]iridium(III) (Ir(ppy)3) are characterized as a function of initial luminance and emissive layer thickness. The overall loss in device luminance is found to originate primarily from a reduction in the exciton formation efficiency which is exacerbated in devices with thinner emissive layers. Interestingly, the contribution to overall degradation from a reduction in the efficiency of exciton recombination (i.e., photoluminescence) is unaffected by thickness, suggesting a fixed exciton recombination zone width and degradation at an interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113301
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - Sep 11 2017

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