We examine the effects of surface ligand exchange on the performance of hybrid organic/inorganic light emitting diodes (LEDs) that use colloidal nanocrystal quantum dots as emissive centers. Using a series of primary alkylamines with different alkane chain lengths, we exchange the native surface ligands on a series of CdSe/CdZnS/ZnS core/shell/shell nanocrystal quantum dots and compare the differences in photoluminescence and electroluminescence efficiency of the emissive quantum dot layer. We fabricate LEDs made with octadecylamine-, octylamine-, and butylamine-exchanged quantum dots. We find that the differences in electroluminescence efficiency of the devices are not always proportional to the photoluminescence quantum efficiency of the quantum dots. We discuss this trend both in terms of the competing needs of high photoluminescence efficiency and good charge injection and energy transfer, and also in terms of the different processability and film morphology arising from the use of nanoparticles passivated with shorter ligands.
- Surface chemistry