Solid-state light-emitting electrochemical cells (LECs) with promising features of solution processability, low-voltage operation and compatibility with inert cathode metals have shown great potential in display and lighting applications in recent years. Among the reported emissive materials for LECs, ionic transition metal complexes (iTMCs) have relatively higher electroluminescence (EL) efficiencies due to their phosphorescent property. However, the red iTMCs generally exhibit moderate color saturation and low emission efficiency, limiting their display applications. To improve color saturation and device efficiency of red LECs, efficient quantum dots (QDs) with narrow emission bandwidth are good alternative emissive materials. In this work, efficient and saturated red QD LECs employing iTMC carrier injection layers to provide in situ electrochemical doping are demonstrated. The thicknesses of iTMC and red-QD layers are systematically adjusted to achieve the best carrier balance. In the optimized device, the iTMC carrier injection layer facilitates hole injection into the red-QD layer while electrons are injected from the cathode into the red-QD layer directly since the electron injection barrier is low. The Commission Internationale de I'Eclairage (CIE) coordinates of the EL spectra approach the red standard point of National Television System Committee (NTSC). High external quantum efficiency and current efficiency reaching 9.7% and 16.1 cd A−1, respectively. These results confirm superior carrier balance in such a simple iTMC/QD bilayer device structure. Furthermore, compared with iTMC LECs, less degree of device efficiency roll-off upon increasing device current is observed in QD LECs since a shorter excited-state lifetime of fluorescent QDs reduces the probability of collision exciton quenching. Saturated and efficient red EL with mitigated efficiency roll-off from red-QD LECs employing iTMC carrier injection layers confirms that they are good candidates of saturated light sources for displays.
- Ionic transition metal complexes
- Light-emitting electrochemical cells
- Quantum dots
- Red light-emitting devices