Engineering Efficiency Roll-Off in Organic Light-Emitting Devices

Nicholas C. Erickson, Russell J. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Previous studies have identified triplet-triplet annihilation and triplet-polaron quenching as the exciton density-dependent mechanisms which give rise to the efficiency roll-off observed in phosphorescent organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs). In this work, these quenching processes are independently probed, and the impact of the exciton recombination zone width on the severity of quenching in various OLED architectures is examined directly. It is found that in devices employing a graded-emissive layer (G-EML) architecture the efficiency roll-off is due to both triplet-triplet annihilation and triplet-polaron quenching, while in devices which employ a conventional double-emissive layer (D-EML) architecture, the roll-off is dominated by triplet-triplet annihilation. Overall, the efficiency roll-off in G-EML devices is found to be much less severe than in the D-EML device. This result is well accounted for by the larger exciton recombination zone measured in G-EML devices, which serves to reduce exciton density-driven loss pathways at high excitation levels. Indeed, a predictive model of the device efficiency based on the quantitatively measured quenching parameters shows the role a large exciton recombination zone plays in mitigating the roll-off. Engineering efficiency roll-off in organic light-emitting devices. The efficiency roll-off in phosphorescent organic light-emitting devices is investigated as a function of device architecture. The loss processes responsible for the roll-off, namely triplet-triplet annihilation and triplet-polaron quenching, are found to depend strongly on device architecture and specifically, the spatial extent of the exciton recombination zone. Devices designed to have a broader recombination zone show a predictable reduction in the severity of the efficiency roll-off.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6074-6080
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number38
StatePublished - Oct 15 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported primarily by the National Science Foundation (NSF) MRSEC Program under Award No. DMR-0819885. Support was also received from the University of Minnesota Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


  • OLEDs
  • efficiency roll-off
  • excitons
  • organic light-emitting devices
  • organic semiconductors


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