Transient electroluminescence spikes in small molecular organic light-emitting diodes

TitleTransient electroluminescence spikes in small molecular organic light-emitting diodes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsLiu R, Gan ZQ, Shinar R, Shinar J
Journal TitlePhysical Review B
Date Published06
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1098-0121
Accession NumberISI:000291256700004
Keywordscarrier recombination, delayed, diffusion, ELECTROLUMINESCENCE, electrophosphorescence, FABRICATION, field, mechanism, overshoot, stretched-exponential relaxation, TRIPLET-TRIPLET ANNIHILATION

We present a comprehensive study of transient nanosecond electroluminescence (EL) spikes that exceed the dc level and microseconds-long EL tails following a bias pulse in guest-host small molecular organic light-emitting diodes (SMOLEDs), including relatively efficient devices, which elucidates carrier and exciton dynamics in such devices. The transient EL is strongly dependent, among other parameters, on device materials and structure. At low temperatures, all measured devices, with the exception of Pt octaethylporphyrin (PtOEP)-doped tris(8-hydroxyquinoline) Al (Alq(3)) SMOLEDs, exhibit the spikes at similar to 70-300 ns. At room temperature (RT), however, only those with a hole injection barrier, carrier-trapping guest-host emitting layer, and no strong electron-transporting and hole-blocking layer [such as 4,7-diphenyl-1,10-phenanthroline (BPhen)] exhibit strong spikes. These narrow and appear earlier under postpulse reverse bias. To further elucidate the origin of the spikes, we monitored their dependence on the pulsed bias width and voltage, the doped layer thickness, and its location within the OLED structure. The characteristics of the microseconds-long tails were also evaluated through the effect of the postpulse voltage. A model based on the recombination of correlated charge pairs (CCPs) and on charge detrapping is presented; the model agrees well with the experimental data. The results suggest that reduced electric-field-induced dissociative quenching of singlet excitons is responsible for the spikes' amplitude exceeding the on-pulse dc EL level. The long tails are attributed to recombination of charges detrapped from a distribution of shallow, mostly host, sites, reminiscent of the detrapping and recombination processes that yield the thermally stimulated luminescence of such materials. The comprehensive transient EL measurements in guest-host devices demonstrate the generality of the strong spike phenomenon in devices with charge trapping in the emitting guest molecules. Hence the transient EL can serve as an important tool to identify the dominant emitting mechanisms in the guest-host systems.

URL<Go to ISI>://000291256700004
Alternate JournalPhys. Rev. B