PFI-TT: Development of Blue Phosphorescent OLEDs with Improved Lifetime and Efficiency using Plasmonic Electrodes for Portable Displays

Project Details


The broader impact/commercial potential of this Partnerships for Innovation - Technology Translation (PFI-TT) project is to improve the efficiency and operational lifetime of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays used in portable electronic devices. The project will enhance scientific and technological understanding of the barriers to obtaining efficient, durable blue light emitting OLEDs and address these issues using advanced photonic materials that are compatible with current OLED manufacturing methods. The innovation has the potential to improve the battery life and reduce the cost of use of portable electronic devices (e.g., cell phones, smart watches, tablets, headsets) by reducing the power consumption of the display and by improving its operational lifetime. Through the project work, prototype OLED devices will be demonstrated that contain novel electrodes that are compatible with chip manufacturing processes currently used by OLED display manufacturers. The project will train two graduate students in advanced photonic materials science and research translation to a commercial prototype.The proposed project will integrate plasmonic metasurfaces into the back silver anode electrode of top-emitting phosphorescent blue OLED devices with the aim of demonstrating superior stability and efficiency compared to current blue OLEDs. The low stability and efficiency of the blue component of light emission in OLED displays is a significant problem that OLED companies are interested in solving. The proposed technology, which uses plasmonic metasurface electrodes, increases the photostability of high-efficiency blue phosphorescent OLED materials by a factor of up to 3.5 compared to those same materials without our technology. The plasmonic metasurfaces accelerate the recombination rate of blue OLED phosphor emission, which improves photostability by minimizing triplet annihilation events. Additionally, the technology will improve OLED efficiency by increasing light extraction because the metasurfaces reduce coupling to guided plasmonic and photonic modes within the OLED layers. This PFI-TT project will enable prototype devices incorporating plasmonic metasuraces to be demonstrated in the state-of-the-art top-emitting OLED device architecture. The top-emitting device architecture is particularly important to companies developing the next generation of OLED displays, as it has better color quality and enables smaller pixels and denser pixel integration compared with bottom-emitting OLEDs.This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Effective start/end date8/1/231/31/25


  • National Science Foundation: $250,000.00


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