Original Article

Citation: Light: Science & Applications (2016) 5, e16121; doi:10.1038/lsa.2016.121
Published online 15 July 2016

Adjustable white-light emission from a photo-structured micro-OLED array
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Simonas Krotkus1, Daniel Kasemann1, Simone Lenk1, Karl Leo1 and Sebastian Reineke1

1Dresden Integrated Center for Applied Physics and Photonic Materials (IAPP) and Institute for Applied Physics, Technische Universität Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany

Correspondence: S Reineke, Email: sebastian.reineke@iapp.de

Received 11 November 2015; Revised 24 February 2016; Accepted 24 February 2016
Accepted article preview online 3 March 2016

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Abstract

White organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are promising candidates for future solid-state lighting applications and backplane illumination in large-area displays. One very specific feature of OLEDs, which is currently gaining momentum, is that they can enable tunable white light emission. This feature is conventionally realized either through the vertical stacking of independent OLEDs emitting different colors or in lateral arrangement of OLEDs. The vertical design is optically difficult to optimize and often results in efficiency compromises between the units. In contrast, the lateral concept introduces severe area losses to dark regions between the subunits, which requires a significantly larger overall device area to achieve equal brightness. Here we demonstrate a color-tunable, two-color OLED device realized by side-by-side alignment of yellow and blue p-i-n OLEDs structured down to 20μm by a simple and up-scalable orthogonal photolithography technique. This layout eliminates the problems of conventional lateral approaches by utilizing all area for light emission. The corresponding emission of the photo-patterned two-unit OLED can be tuned over a wide range from yellow to white to blue colors. The independent control of the different units allows the desired overall spectrum to be set at any given brightness level. Operated as a white light source, the microstructured OLED reaches a luminous efficacy of 13lmW−1 at 1000cdm2 without an additional light outcoupling enhancement and reaches a color rendering index of 68 when operated near the color point E. Finally, we demonstrate an improved device lifetime by means of size variation of the subunits.

Keywords:

color tuning; hydrofluoroethers; orthogonal photolithography; orthogonal processing; white organic light-emitting diodes