Performance improvement of blue TADF top-emission OLEDs by tuning hole injection barriers using a nickel-doped silicon dioxide buffer layer

Wanqi Ren, Kyung Rock Son, Tae Geun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The severe exciton self-quenching and twisted structure of typical thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) emitters result in a low external quantum efficiency (EQE) and broad emission spectrum, especially in blue organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). These challenges have been overcome by employing complex device fabrication steps and complex molecular structures requiring fine stoichiometric adjustments. However, only a few attempts have been made to improve the performance of OLEDs through device structure engineering, particularly in top-emission OLEDs (TEOLEDs). Herein, we report blue TADF TEOLEDs fabricated by employing a second-order microcavity structure. These TEOLEDs simultaneously exhibit a high EQE (∼20.2 %) and narrow full width at half maximum (29 nm) owing to the incorporation of a Ni-doped SiO2 buffer layer that balances the injection charges. The wide bandgap of SiO2 prevents rapid hole injection from the anode and modifies the anode–organic layer interface, while tuning of the Ni doping concentration reduces the turn-on voltage of the device through co-sputtering. The charge balance mechanism is elucidated in detail by analyzing tunneling effects across the buffer layer and the bonding states of Ni atoms in the SiO2 film. This study can promote the development of TADF top-emission devices with high efficiency and high color purity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number155948
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea, funded by the Korean government (No. 2016R1A3B1908249).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Blue thermally activated delayed fluorescence
  • Charge injection balance
  • Color purity
  • Top-emission organic light-emitting diodes
  • Wide-bandgap buffer layer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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