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Results of iodine doping of an Al/MEH-PPV/ITO-based LED.
Un-doped Doped
Turn on voltage (V) 10 foreword 5, reversed 12
External efficiency (%) 4 x 10 -4 8 x 10 -3

Polymer leds on a silicon substrate: an application advantage over inorganic leds

In the initial research polymer LEDs were in direct competition with the inorganic LEDs and tried to achieve the existing LED standard. This is a difficult task as polymer LEDs have a lower long term stability. However, there are some applications in which polymer LEDs have a clear advantage over their more traditional inorganic analogs. One of these is to incorporate LEDs with the silicon integrated circuits for inter-chip communication.

It is difficult to build inorganic LEDs on a silicon substrate, because of the thermal stress developing between the inorganic LED (usually a III-V based device) and the silicon interface. But polymer LEDs offer a solution, since polymers can be easily spin-coated on the silicon. The operating voltage of polymer LED is less than 4 V, and the turn on voltage can be as low as 2 V. Together with a switching time of less than 50 ns, make polymer LED a perfect candidate.

Reliability and degradation of polymer leds

In terms of the efficiency, color selection, and driving voltage, polymer LED have attained adequate level for commercialization. However, the device lifetime is still far from satisfactory. Research into understanding the reliability and degredation mechanisms of polymer LEDs has generally been divided into two area:

  1. Photo-degradation of polymer.
  2. Interface degradation.

Polymer photo degradation

Photoluminescece (PL) studies of the photo-oxidation of PPV have been undertaken, since it is believes that EL is closely related with PL.

It was found that there is a rapid decay in emission when PPV is exposed to oxygen. Using time resolved FTIR spectroscopy an increase in the carbonyl signal and a decrease in C=C signal with time ( [link] ). It was suggested that the carbonyl group has a strong electron affinity level to charge transfer between molecules segment in the polymer, thereby dissociating the excition and quenching the PL.

FTIR as a function of photo-oxidation of PPV. Adapted from M. Yan, L. J. Rothberg, F. Papadimitrakopoulos, M. E. Galvin and T. M. Miller, Phys. Rev. Lett. , 1994, 73 , 744.

Similar research was performed by Cumpston and Jensen using BCHA-PPV and P3OT ( [link] ) and exposing them to dry air in UV irradiation. In BCHA-PPV, there is an increase in carbonyl signal with time, while the P3OT remain intact. A mechanism proposed for the degradation of BCHA-PPV involves the transfer of energy from the excited triplet state of the PPV to oxygen to from singlet oxygen which attack the vinyl double bond in the PPV backbone. And P3OT dose not has vinyl bond so it can resist the oxidation .

Structure of (a) BCHA-PPV and (b) P3OT.

The research described above was all performed on polymer thin films deposited on an inert surface. The presence of cathode and anode may also affect the oxidation mechanism. Scott et al. have taken IR spectra from a MEH-PPV LED in the absence of oxygen. They obtained similar result as in Yan et al., however, a decrease in ITO’s oxygen signal was noticed suggesting that the ITO anode acts like a oxygen reservoir and supplies the oxygen for the degradation process.

Polymer led interface degradation

There are few interface degredation studies in polymer LEDs. One of them by Scott et al. took SEM image of the cathode from a failed polymer LED. The polymer LED used ITO as the anode, MEH-PPV as the polymer layer, and an aluminum calcium alloy as cathode. SEM images showed “craters” formed in the cathode. The craters are formed when the cathode metal is melted and pull away from the polymer layer. It was suggested that a high current density will generate heat and result in local hot spot. The temperature in the hot spot is high enough to melt the cathode. And when it melt, it will pull away from the polymer. This process will decrease the effective cathode area, and reduce the luminescence gradually.


  • D. R. Baigent, N. C. Greenham, J. Gruner, R. N. Marks, R. H. Friends, S. C. Moratti, and A. B. Holmes, Synth. Met., 1994, 67 , 3.
  • B. H. Cumpston and K. F. Jensen, Synth. Met., 1995, 73 , 195.
  • J. H. Burroughes, D. D. C. Bradley, A. R. Brown, R. N. Marks, K. Mackay, R. H. Friend, P. L. Burns, and A. B. Holmes, Nature , 1990, 347 , 539.
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  • R. H. Jordan, A. Dodabalapur, L. J. Rothberg, and R. E. Slusher, Proceeding of SPIE , 1997, 3002 , 92.
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  • J. C. Scott, J. Kaufman, P. J. Brock, R. DiPietro, J. Salem, and J. A. Goitia, J. Appl. Phys. , 1996, 79 , 2745.
  • M. S. Weaver, D. G. Lidzaey, T. A. Fisher, M. A. Pate, D. O’Brien, A. Bleyer, A. Tajbakhsh, D. D. C. Bradley, M. S. Skolnick, and G. Hill, Thin solid Films, 1996, 273 , 39.
  • M. Yan, L. J.Rothberg, F. Papadimitrakopoulos, M. E. Galvin, and T. M. Miller, Phys. Rev. Lett. , 1994, 73 , 744.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry of electronic materials. OpenStax CNX. Aug 09, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10719/1.9
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