High-efficiency polymer light-emitting diodes using neutral surfactant modified aluminum cathode

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6010-6014
Journal / PublicationJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


High-efficiency polymer light-emitting diodes were fabricated by inserting a layer of nonionic neutral surfactant between the electroluminescent (EL) layer and the high-work-function aluminum cathode via spin coating. It was found that both the poly(ethylene glycol)- and poly(propylene glycol)-based surfactants as well as their copolymers can all demonstrate similar performance enhancement. Device performances comparable to or even better than those of the control devices using calcium as the cathode have been achieved for both poly-(p-phenylene)-based and polyfluorene-based conjugated polymers with orange-red, green, and blue emission colors. It is possible that when both surfactant and aluminum are used as the cathode, the abundant hole injection through a hole-transporting layer and hole pile-up at the inner side of the EL/surfactant interface might cause an effective electric field to induce the realignment of the dipole moment of those polar surfactant molecules, thus lowering the barrier for electron injection. In addition, the coordination between the aluminum and oxygen atoms on the surfactant might cause n-type doping in the areas near surfactant in the EL polymer layer that causes the enhancement of electron injection. © 2006 American Chemical Society.