January 8, 2016

How Copper Makes Organic Light-emitting Diodes more Efficient

Thanks to knowledge of their quantum mechanics, dyes can be customized for use
in organic light-emitting diodes. (Photo: KIT)

(January 8, 2016)  KIT Researchers Measure Intersystem Crossing Directly in a Thermally Activated Delayed Fluo-rescence Copper Complex – Publication in Science Advances

Use of copper as a fluorescent material allows for the manufacture of inexpensive and environmentally compatible organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Thermally activated delayed fuorescence (TADF) ensures high light yield. Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), CYNORA, and the University of St Andrews have now measured the underlying quantum mechanics phenomenon of intersystem crossing in a copper complex. The results of this fundamental work are reported in the Science Advances journal and contribute to enhancing the energy efficiency of OLEDs.

Organic light-emitting diodes are deemed tomorrow’s source of light. They homogeneously emit light in all observation directions and produce brilliant colors and high contrasts. As it is also possible to manufacture transparent and flexible OLEDs, new application and design options result, such as flat light sources on window panes or displays that can be rolled up. OLEDs consist of ultra-thin layers of organic materials, which serve as emitter and are located between two electrodes. When voltage is applied, electrons from the cathode and holes (positive charges) from the anode are injected into the emitter, where they form electron-hole pairs. These so-called excitons are quasiparticles in the excited state. When they decay into their initial state again, they release energy.

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