Research ArticleAPPLIED SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING

Evidence and mechanism of efficient thermally activated delayed fluorescence promoted by delocalized excited states

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Science Advances  10 May 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 5, e1603282
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1603282

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Abstract

The design of organic compounds with nearly no gap between the first excited singlet (S1) and triplet (T1) states has been demonstrated to result in an efficient spin-flip transition from the T1 to S1 state, that is, reverse intersystem crossing (RISC), and facilitate light emission as thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF). However, many TADF molecules have shown that a relatively appreciable energy difference between the S1 and T1 states (~0.2 eV) could also result in a high RISC rate. We revealed from a comprehensive study of optical properties of TADF molecules that the formation of delocalized states is the key to efficient RISC and identified a chemical template for these materials. In addition, simple structural confinement further enhances RISC by suppressing structural relaxation in the triplet states. Our findings aid in designing advanced organic molecules with a high rate of RISC and, thus, achieving the maximum theoretical electroluminescence efficiency in organic light-emitting diodes.

Keywords
  • Organic light-emitting diodes
  • Thermally activated delayed fluorescence
  • Reverse intersystem crossing
  • Excited-state dynamics
  • Transient absorption spectroscopy
  • Charge resonance state

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