Efficient polymer light-emitting diode with air-stable aluminum cathode

D. Abbaszadeh, G. A.H. Wetzelaer, N. Y. Doumon, P. W.M. Blom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The fast degradation of polymer light-emitting diodes (PLEDs) in ambient conditions is primarily due to the oxidation of highly reactive metals, such as barium or calcium, which are used as cathode materials. Here, we report the fabrication of PLEDs using an air-stable partially oxidized aluminum (AlOx) cathode. Usually, the high work function of aluminum (4.2 eV) imposes a high barrier for injecting electrons into the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) of the emissive polymer (2.9 eV below the vacuum level). By partially oxidizing aluminum, its work function is decreased, but not sufficiently low for efficient electron injection. Efficient injection is obtained by inserting an electron transport layer of poly[(9,9-di-n-octylfluorenyl-2,7-diyl)-alt-(benzo[2,1,3]thiadiazol-4,8-diyl)] (F8BT), which has its LUMO at 3.3 eV below vacuum, between the AlOx cathode and the emissive polymer. The intermediate F8BT layer not only serves as a hole-blocking layer but also provides an energetic staircase for electron injection from AlOx into the emissive layer. PLEDs with an AlOx cathode and F8BT interlayer exhibit a doubling of the efficiency as compared to conventional Ba/Al PLEDs, and still operate even after being kept in ambient atmosphere for one month without encapsulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number095503
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 7 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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