Rational Molecular Design of Azaacene-Based Narrowband Green-Emitting Fluorophores: Modulation of Spectral Bandwidth and Vibronic Transitions

Jung Min Ha, Hye Beom Shin, Joonyoung Francis Joung, Won Jae Chung, Ji Eun Jeong, Sangin Kim, Seon Hyoung Hur, Suk Young Bae, Jun Yun Kim, Jun Yeob Lee, Sungnam Park, Han Young Woo

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24 Citations (Scopus)


A series of green-emitting fluorophores based on a tetra-azaacene core is synthesized by introducing nitrile substituents at different positions. Their molecular structure-optical property relationship [i.e., vibronic transitions in photoluminescence (PL) and electroluminescence (EL) spectra] is investigated to obtain a sharp emission where the vibronic peak ν0-0 should be intensified by suppressing ν0-n (n = 1, 2, 3...) transitions. The intensity ratios (I0-1/I0-0) of the ν0-1 and ν0-0 vibronic transitions in the PL spectra of DBBNP, DBBNP2CN1, and DBBNP2CN2 in hexane are 1.13, 0.80, and 0.67, respectively. Theoretical calculations explain that the CN substitution at positions 8 and 13 in DBBNP2CN2 induces a uniform charge distribution and reduces the Huang-Rhys factors (HRFs) of the vibrational normal modes coupled to the electronic transition. The organic light-emitting diode (OLED) fabricated with DBBNP2CN2 shows a narrower green EL emission at 518 nm with a smaller bandwidth (50 nm) than those of devices adopting DBBNP or DBBNP2CN1. The careful modification of the molecular structures and positions of substituents enables us to reduce the HRFs of vibrations to achieve a narrow emission bandwidth with decreased I0-1/I0-0, which suggests a design strategy to develop narrowband organic fluorophores to improve the color purity for wide-gamut OLED displays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26227-26236
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 9

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea (NRF-2019R1A2C2085290, 2019R1A6A1A11044070, 2020M3H4A3081814, and 2016M1A2A2940911). This work was also supported by LG Display. We thank the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) Center for Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics (IBS-R023-D1) for providing (NMR spectrometry) and professional technical support.

Publisher Copyright:


  • OLEDs
  • azaacene
  • narrow bandwidth
  • organic fluorophores
  • vibronic transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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