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Encapsulating light-emitting electrochemical cells for improved performance
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
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2012 (English)In: Applied Physics Letters, ISSN 0003-6951, E-ISSN 1077-3118, Vol. 100, 193508Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present a functional and scalable encapsulation of light-emitting electrochemical cells (LECs), which results in a measured ambient operation of >400 h at a brightness of >300 cd/m(2) with a maximum efficacy of 6 lm/W, and a linearly extrapolated ambient operation of similar to 5600 h at >100 cd/m(2). Our findings suggest that previous studies have underestimated the practical stability of appropriately encapsulated LECs. We also report that the dominant ambient degradation for non-encapsulated LECs is water-induced delamination of the cathode from the active layer, while encapsulated LECs in contrast are found to decay from spatial variations in the active layer composition. (C) 2012 American Institute of Physics. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4714696]

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 100, 193508
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-56420DOI: 10.1063/1.4714696ISI: 000304108000097OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-56420DiVA: diva2:535156
Available from: 2012-06-19 Created: 2012-06-18 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Design and Fabrication of Light-Emitting Electrochemical Cells
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Design and Fabrication of Light-Emitting Electrochemical Cells
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Design och tillverkning av ljusemitterande elektrokemiska celler
Abstract [sv]

Glödlampan, en gång symbolen för mänsklig uppfinningsförmåga, är idag på väg att försvinna. Lysdioder och lågenergilampor har istället tagit över då dessa har betydligt längre livstid och högre effektivitet. Den tidigare så hyllade glödlampan anses numera vara en miljöbov, och förbud och restriktioner mot den blir allt vanligare. Trots detta så är de nya alternativen bara att betrakta som provisoriska steg på vägen mot en ideal ljuskälla, som idag tyvärr inte existerar. Lågenergilampor innehåller exempelvis kvicksilver, och utgör därmed ett direkt hot mot en användares hälsa. Både lysdioder och lågenergilampor består även av höga halter av andra tungmetaller, och är väldigt komplicerade att tillverka. Återvinning är därför ett måste, och en fullödig energibesparingsanalys måste ta hänsyn till den betydande energin som går åt vid tillverkningen. Till viss del kan detta lösas genom att göra komponenterna små och ljusstarka, men för att göra en sådan belysning angenäm används istället utrymmeskrävande och ofta energislukande lampskärmar. Lysdioder och lågenergilampor är helt enkelt bra, men långt ifrån perfekta.All elektronisk utrustning är idag beroende av metaller och inorganiska halvledare, vilket gör återvinning viktig och tillverkning komplicerad. Detta är kanske på väg att ändras då även organiska material, t.ex. plast, har visat sig kunna ha elektroniska egenskaper. Idag är organisk elektronik ett hett forskningsområde där material med liknande egenskaper som plast, fast med funktionella elektroniska egenskaper, undersöks och appliceras. Något som gör organiska material extra intressanta är att många kan lösas upp i vätskor, vilket möjliggör för skapandet av bläck. Detta leder i sin tur till möjligheter för användandet av storskaliga trycktekniker, t.ex. tidningspressar och bläckstråleskrivare, vilka leder till en stor kostnadsreduktion och förenklad tillverkning av lysande komponenter. Idag har plast redan ersatt många andra material i en mängd olika tillämpningar. Plastflaskor är vanligare än glasflaskor, och ylletröjor konkurerar idag med kläder gjorda av fleece och andra syntetiska fibrer. Med ljusemitterande plast finns det helt klart en möjlighet att en liknande utveckling kan ske även för lampor.Den här avhandlingen fokuserar på den fortsatta utvecklingen av den ljusemitterande elektrokemiska cellen (LEC), som 1995 uppfanns av Pei et al. LEC-tekniken använder sig av organiska halvledare för att konvertera elektrisk ström till ljus, men även en elektrolyt som möjliggör elektrokemisk dopning. Detta förbättrar den organiska halvledarens elektroniska egenskaper signifikant, vilket leder till mindre resistans och högre effektivitet hos den färdiga lysande komponenten.Visionen för denna och besläktade tekniker har sedan länge varit förverkligandet av en lysande tapet. Den här avhandlingen har försökt närma sig denna vision genom att visa hur en LEC kan uppnå hög effektivitet och lång livslängd, och samtidigt tillverkas i luft med storskaliga produktionsmetoder. Orsaker till en tidigare begränsad livslängd har identifierats och minimerats med hjälp av nya komponentstrukturer och materialformuleringar. En inkapslingsmetod presenteras också, vilken skyddar komponenten från syre och vatten som annars lätt reagerar med det dopade organiska materialet. Detta resulterar i en signifikant förbättring av livslängden.Genom att använda slot-die bestrykning och sprayning, båda kompatibla med rulle-till-rulle tillverkning, har möjligheter för storskalig produktion demonstrerats. Slutligen har en speciell metod för spraymålning av stora lysande ytor utvecklats.

Abstract [en]

The incandescent light bulb, once the very symbol for human ingenuity, is now being replaced by the next generation of lighting technologies such as the compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) and the light emitting diode (LED). The higher efficiencies and longer operational lifetimes of these new sources of illumination have led to the demise of the classic traditional bulb. However, it should be pointed out that the light sources that are taking over are better, but not perfect. The complex high-voltage electronic circuits and health hazardous materials required for their operation make them far from a sustainable eco-friendly option. Their fabrication is also complex, making the final product expensive. A new path forward might be through the use of plastics or other organic materials. Though not traditionally seen as electronically active, some organic materials do behave like inorganic semiconductors and substantial conductivity can be achieved by doping. Since plastics can be easily molded into complex shapes, or made into an ink using a solvent, it is expected that organic materials could revolutionize how we fabricate electronic devices in the future, and possibly replace inorganic crystals in the same way as plastics have replaced glass and wool for food storage and clothes. This thesis has focused on the light-emitting electrochemical cell (LEC), which was invented by Pei et al. in 1995. It employs organic semiconductors that can convert electricity to light, but also an electrolyte that further enhances the electronic properties of the semiconductor by allowing it to be electrochemically doped. This allows light-emitting films to be driven by a low-voltage source at a high efficiency. Unfortunately, the electrolyte has been shown to facilitate rapid degradation of the device under operation, which has historically severely limited the operational lifetime. Realizing the predicted high efficiency has also proven difficult. The purpose of this thesis is to bridge the gap between the LEC and the CFL. This is done by demonstrating efficient devices and improved operational lifetimes. Possible degradation mechanisms are identified and minimized using novel device architectures and optimized active layer compositions. An encapsulation method is presented, and shown to increase the LEC stability significantly by protecting it from ambient oxygen and water. The thesis further focuses on up-scaled fabrication under ambient air conditions, proving that light-emitting devices are compatible with solution-based and cost-efficient printing. This is achieved by a roll-to-roll compatible slot-die coating and a novel spray-depositing technique that alleviates problems stemming from dust particles and phase separation. A practical ambient air fabrication and a subsequent operation of light-emitting electrochemical cells with high efficiency are thus shown possible.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2013. 61 p.
Keyword
Light-emitting electrochemical cell, fabrication, organic semiconductors, organic electronics, ambient fabrication, roll-to-roll
National Category
Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
Research subject
Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-79544 (URN)978-91-7459-691-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-09-13, N300, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 09:47 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-08-23 Created: 2013-08-22 Last updated: 2013-08-22Bibliographically approved
2. Functional and Flexible Light-Emitting Electrochemical Cells
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Functional and Flexible Light-Emitting Electrochemical Cells
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The introduction of artificial illumination has brought extensive benefits to mankind, and during the last years we have seen a tremendous progress in this field with the introduction of the energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) and the high-contrast organic LED display. These high-end technologies are, however, produced using costly and complex processes, and it is anticipated that the next big thing in the field will be the advent of a low-cost and “green” illumination technology, which can be fabricated in a cost- and material-efficient manner using non-toxic and abundant raw materials, and which features attractive form factors such as flexibility, robustness and light-weight. The light-emitting electrochemical cell (LEC) is a newly invented illumination technology, and in this thesis we present results that imply that it can turn the above vision into reality.

The thin-film LEC comprises an active material sandwiched between a cathode and an anode as its key constituent parts. With the aid of a handheld air-brush, we show that functional large-area LECs can be fabricated by simply spraying three layers of solution -- forming the anode, active material, and cathode -- on top of a substrate. We also demonstrate that such “spray-sintered” LECs can feature multicolored emission patterns, and be fabricated directly on complex-shaped surfaces, with one notable example being the realization of a light-emission fork!

Almost all LECs up-to-date have been fabricated on glass substrates, but for a flexible and light-weight emissive device, it is obviously relevant to identify more appropriate substrate materials. For this end, we show that it is possible to spray-coat the entire LEC directly on conventional copy paper, and that such paper-LECs feature uniform light-emission even under heavy bending and flexing.

We have further looked into the fundamental aspects of the LEC operation and demonstrated that the in-situ doping formation, which is a characteristic and heralded feature of LECs, can bring problems in the form of doping-induced self-absorption. By quantitatively analyzing this phenomenon, we provided straightforward guidelines on how future efficiency-optimized LEC devices should be designed.

The in-situ doping formation process brings the important advantage that LECs can be fabricated from solely air-stabile materials, but during light emission the device needs to be protected from the ambient air. We have therefore developed a functional glass/epoxy encapsulation procedure for the attainment of LEC devices that feature a record-long ambient-air operational lifetime of 5600 h. For the light-emission device of the future, it is however critical that the encapsulation is flexible, and in our last study, we show that the use of multi-layer barrier can result in high-performance flexible LECs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2015. 57 p.
Keyword
all-ambient fabrication, ambient-air lifetime, encapsulation, flexible, light-emitting electrochemical cells, light-emitting paper
National Category
Nano Technology Other Physics Topics
Research subject
Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-102400 (URN)978-91-7601-257-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-05-22, N300, Naturvetarhuset, Umeå University, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-04-30 Created: 2015-04-23 Last updated: 2015-05-08Bibliographically approved

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Asadpoordarvish, AmirSandström, AndreasTang, ShiEdman, Ludvig

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