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Published December 16, 1998 | Published
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Synthesis of high-T_g hole-transporting polymers with different redox potentials and their performance in organic two-layer LEDs


Organic hole transport materials are used in organic LEDs, where they substantially improve device performance if placed as a hole transport layer (HTL) between the anode and the electroluminescent layer (EL). Soluble polymeric hole transport materials with high glass transition temperatures are of particular interest, because they allow for efficient device fabrication through spin casting of the HTL, and high glass transition temperatures have been found to improve thermal and long-term stability of the device. The redox potential of the hole transport material determines the facility of charge injection at the anode/HTL and the HTL/EL interfaces, thus affecting the overall device efficiency. We have synthesized a series of soluble hole-transporting polymers with glass transition temperatures in the range of 130 degrees C to 150 degrees C. The synthetic method allows facile substitution of the hole transport functionality with electron-withdrawing and electron-donating groups, which permits tuning of the redox potential of the polymer. These polymers have been used as HTL in tow-layer devices ITO/HTL/Alq/Mg. The maximum external quantum efficiency increase, if the redox potential is changed to facilitate reduction of the hole transport material at the HTL/EL interface. Electron-deficient derivatives show higher external quantum efficiencies. The device stability, however, follows the opposite trend.

Additional Information

© 1998 Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). We thank Prof. Neal R. Armstrong for very helpful discussions and Dr. Steven Barlow for valuable technical assistance with the cyclic voltammetry. Furthermore, we would like to thank Dr. Steven Barlow and Dr. S. Thayumanavan for providing samples of the molecular TPD derivatives. Financial support was received through the Center for Advanced Multifunctional Nonlinear Optical Polymers and Molecular Assemblies (CAMP) from the Office of Naval Research.

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