2023 journal article

Correlation of Emulsion Chemistry, Film Morphology, and Device Performance in Polyfluorene LEDs Deposited by RIR-MAPLE

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

By: B. Zhang*, S. Pinky n, A. Kwansa n, S. Ferguson*, Y. Yingling n & A. Stiff-Roberts*

UN Sustainable Development Goal Categories
Source: ORCID
Added: March 30, 2023

Thin films of polyfluorene (PFO) were deposited using emulsion-based resonant infrared, matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation (RIR-MAPLE). Here, it is shown that properly selected surfactant chemistry in the emulsion can increase crystalline β phase (β-PFO) content and consequently improve the color purity of light emission. To determine the impact of surfactant on the device performance of resulting films, blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with PFO as an active region were fabricated and compared. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were used to explain the physical and chemical changes in the emulsion properties as a function of the surfactant. The results indicate that the experimental film morphology and device performance are highly correlated to the emulsion droplet micelle structure and interaction energy among PFO, primary solvent, and water obtained from MD simulations. While the champion device performance was lower than other reported devices (luminous flux ∼0.0206 lm, brightness ∼725.58 cd/m2, luminous efficacy ∼0.0548 lm/W, and luminous efficiency ∼0.174 cd/A), deep blue emission with good color purity (CIE chromaticity diagram coordinate of (0.177,0.141)) was achieved for low operating voltages around 3 V. Furthermore, a much higher β-phase content of 21% was achieved in annealed films (without the pinholes typically found in β-PFO deposited by other techniques) by using sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) as the surfactant.