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Ultrapure green organic light-emitting diodes based on highly distorted fused π-conjugated molecular design


Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology is promising for ultrahigh-definition displays and other applications, but further improvements in efficiency and colour purity are desired. Here, we designed and synthesized an ultrapure green emitter called DBTN-2, which is organoboron based and features a highly distorted fused π-conjugated molecular design. This design concept substantially reduces the relaxation energy between the geometries of the excited and ground states, leading to a full-width at half-maximum emission of only 20 nm. Furthermore, the different excitation characters of the singlet and triplet states enhance the spin–orbit couplings leading to highly efficient operation. The introduction of the multiple carbazole moieties gives rise to a charge-resonance-type excitation feature of the triplet states, thus resulting in a high density of the triplet states and a rate of reverse intersystem crossing (kRISC) as fast as 1.7 × 105 s−1. An ultrapure green OLED exploiting DBTN-2 as an emitter without optimized cavity effects and colour filters operated with Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage coordinates of (0.19, 0.74), satisfying the requirement for a commercial green OLED display. Moreover, in combination with a photoluminescence quantum yield of near 100% and a strong horizontal dipole orientation in the doped film, an excellent external quantum efficiency of 35.2% with suppressed efficiency roll-off is simultaneously obtained.

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Fig. 1: Chemical structure and theoretical results of DBTN-2.
Fig. 2: Photophysical properties of DBTN-2.
Fig. 3: EL performance of the OLED device based on DBTN-2.

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The authors declare that all relevant data are included in the paper and its Supplementary Information.


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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant numbers 52130304 (X.-H.Z.), 51821002 (X.-H.Z.), 52003185 (K.W.) and 52003186 (Y.-Z.S.)), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (grant numbers 2020YFA0714601 (K.W.) and 2020YFA0714604 (K.W.)), and Suzhou Key Laboratory of Functional Nano and Soft Materials, Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, the 111 Project (X.-H.Z.). X.-K.C. acknowledges the New Faculty Start-up Grant of the City University of Hong Kong (7200709 and 9610547), and the financial support from the Kyulux Inc.

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Authors and Affiliations



K.W., X.-K.C., C.A. and X.-H.Z. conceived the project. X.-K.C. carried out all of the theoretical simulations, and proposed the molecular-design concept. K.W. and X.-C.F. designed the compound and devices. X.-C.F. synthesized and characterized the organic compound with the help of Y.-Z.S. and Y.-C.C.; X.-C.F. performed the photophysical measurements and fabricated the OLED devices. Y.-T.L. measured the molecular orientation in the thin films. X.-C.F., K.W., X.-K.C., C.A. and X.-H.Z. wrote the manuscript. X.-H.Z. supervised the project. J.Y. commented on the manuscript. All authors discussed the results and commented on the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Kai Wang, Xian-Kai Chen, Chihaya Adachi or Xiao-Hong Zhang.

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Supplementary Figs. 1–16 and Tables 1–3.

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Fan, XC., Wang, K., Shi, YZ. et al. Ultrapure green organic light-emitting diodes based on highly distorted fused π-conjugated molecular design. Nat. Photon. 17, 280–285 (2023).

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