Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Stable pure-blue hyperfluorescence organic light-emitting diodes with high-efficiency and narrow emission

An Author Correction to this article was published on 12 January 2021

This article has been updated


Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are a promising light-source technology for future generations of display1,2. Despite great progress3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12, it is still challenging to produce blue OLEDs with sufficient colour purity, lifetime and efficiency for applications. Here, we report pure-blue (Commission Internationale de l’ Eclairage (CIE) coordinates of 0.13, 0.16) OLEDs with high efficiency (external quantum efficiency of 32 per cent at 1,000 cd m−2), narrow emission (full-width at half-maximum of 19 nm) and good stability (95% of the initial luminacnce (LT95) of 18 hours at an initial luminance of 1,000 cd m−2). The design is based on a two-unit stacked tandem hyperfluorescence OLED with improved singlet-excited-state energy transfer from a sky-blue assistant dopant exhibiting thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) called hetero-donor-type TADF(HDT-1) to a pure-blue emitter. With stricter control of device fabrication and procedures it is expected that device lifetimes will further improve to rival commercial fluorescent blue OLEDs.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Photo-physical characteristics.
Fig. 2: Pure-blue OLED performances.
Fig. 3: Luminance change versus operational time (at an initial luminance of 1,000 cd m−2).

Data availability

The data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Change history


  1. 1.

    Sekitani, T. et al. Stretchable active-matrix organic light-emitting diode display using printable elastic conductors. Nat. Mater. 8, 494–499 (2009).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    White, M. S. et al. Ultrathin, highly flexible and stretchable PLEDs. Nat. Photon. 7, 811–816 (2013).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Baldo, M. A. et al. Highly efficient phosphorescent emission from organic electroluminescent devices. Nature 395, 151–154 (1998).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Kuei, C.-Y. et al. Bis-tridentate Ir(III) complexes with nearly unitary RGB efficiency exceeding 31%. Adv. Mater. 28, 2795–2800 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Kim, K. H., Ahn, E. S., Huh, J. S., Kim, Y. H. & Kim, J. J. Design of heteroleptic Ir complexes with horizontal emitting dipoles for highly efficient organic light-emitting diodes with an external quantum efficiency of 38%. Chem. Mater. 28, 7505–7510 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Uoyama, H., Goushi, K., Shizu, K., Nomura, H. & Adachi, C. Highly efficient organic light-emitting diodes from delayed fluorescence. Nature 492, 234–238 (2012).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Hirata, S. et al. Highly efficient blue electroluminescence based on thermally activated delayed fluorescence. Nat. Mater. 14, 330–336 (2015).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Wong, M. Y. & Zysman‐Colman, E. Purely organic thermally activated delayed fluorescence materials for organic light–emitting diodes. Adv. Mater. 29, 1605444 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Sarma, M. et al. Anomalously long-lasting blue PhOLED featuring phenyl-pyrimidine cyclometalated iridium emitter. Chem 3, 461–476 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Jeon, S. K., Lee, H. L., Yook, K. S. & Lee, J. Y. Recent progress of the lifetime of organic light‐emitting diodes based on thermally activated delayed fluorescent material. Adv. Mater. 31, 1803524 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Cui, L. et al. Fast spin-flip enables efficient and stable organic electroluminescence from charge-transfer states. Nat. Photon. 14, 636–642 (2020).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Wada, Y. et al. Organic light emitters exhibiting very fast reverse intersystem crossing. Nat. Photon. 14, 643–649 (2020).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Giebink, N. C. et al. Intrinsic luminance loss in phosphorescent small-molecule organic light emitting devices due to bimolecular annihilation reactions. J. Appl. Phys. 103, 044509 (2008).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Giebink, N. C., D’Andrade, B. W., Weaver, M. S., Brown, J. & Forrest, S. R. Direct evidence for degradation of polaron excited states in organic light emitting diodes. J. Appl. Phys. 105, 124514 (2009).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Wang, Q. & Aziz, H. Degradation of organic/organic interfaces in organic light-emitting devices due to polaron–exciton interactions. ACS Appl. Mater. Interf. 5, 8733–8739 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Lee, J. et al. Hot excited state management for long-lived blue phosphorescent organic light-emitting diodes. Nat. Commun. 8, 15566 (2017).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Noda, H., Nakanotani, H. & Adachi, C. Excited state engineering for efficient reverse intersystem crossing. Sci. Adv. 4, eaao6910 (2018).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Nakanotani, H. et al. High-efficiency organic light-emitting diodes with fluorescent emitters. Nat. Commun. 5, 4016 (2014).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Kondo, Y. et al. Narrowband deep-blue organic light-emitting diode featuring an organoboron-based emitter. Nat. Photon. 13, 678–682 (2019).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Majoul, I., Jia, Y. & Duden, R. Practical fluorescence resonance energy transfer or molecular nano bioscopy of living cells. In Handbook Of Biological Confocal Microscopy 788–808 (Springer, 2006).

  21. 21.

    Féry, C., Racine, B., Vaufrey, D., Doyeux, H. & Cinà, S. Physical mechanism responsible for the stretched exponential decay behaviour of aging organic light-emitting diodes. Appl. Phys. Lett. 87, 213502 (2005).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Agou, T. et al. Pentacyclic ladder-heteraborin emitters exhibiting high-efficiency blue thermally activated delayed fluorescence with an ultrashort emission lifetime. ACS Mater. Lett. 2, 28–34 (2020).

    Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Tanaka, M., Noda, H., Nakanotani, H. & Adachi, C. Effect of carrier balance on device degradation of organic light-emitting diodes based on thermally activated delayed fluorescence emitters. Adv. Electron. Mater. 5, 1800708 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Ikeda, T. et al. Enhanced stability of organic light-emitting devices fabricated under ultra-high vacuum condition. Chem. Phys. Lett. 426, 111–114 (2006).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Yamamoto, H. et al. Improved initial drop in operational lifetime of blue phosphorescent organic light emitting device fabricated under ultra-high vacuum condition. Appl. Phys. Lett. 99, 033301 (2011).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Fujimoto, H. et al. Influence of vacuum chamber impurities on the lifetime of organic light-emitting diodes. Sci. Rep. 6, 38482 (2016).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references


We acknowledge JNC Petrochemical Corporation for synthesizing ν-DABNA. We thank N. Nakamura and K. Kusuhara for technical assistance with this research, and H. Fujimoto, H.-W. Mo and K. Nagayoshi for help in fabricating OLEDs. We also thank Y. Tsuchiya, U. Balijapalli, Y. S. Yang, A. Endo and D. P.-K. Tsang for discussions. This work was supported financially by the Program for Building Regional Innovation Ecosystems of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.

Author information




C.A. supervised the project. C.-Y.C. designed, synthesized and characterized the sky-blue TADF emitters. M.T. fabricated the OLEDs and characterized the device performances. C.-Y.C., M.T., H.N. and C.A. contributed to the manuscript writing. M.T., Y.-T.L., Y.-W.W., H.N., T.H. and C.A. contributed to discussions. All authors discussed the progress of the research and reviewed the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Chin-Yiu Chan or Chihaya Adachi.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

C.A. is the external advisor of one of the sponsors of this work (Kyulux). The other authors declare no competing financial interests. Kyushu University and Kyulux have filed patent applications on materials and devices.

Additional information

Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Figures 1–24, Supplementary Tables 1–3

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Chan, CY., Tanaka, M., Lee, YT. et al. Stable pure-blue hyperfluorescence organic light-emitting diodes with high-efficiency and narrow emission. Nat. Photonics 15, 203–207 (2021).

Download citation

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing