Customizable and technology-friendly functional materials are one of the mainstays of emerging organic electronics and optoelectronics. We show that recombination exciplexes of simple substituted diphenylacetylenes with tertiary amines can be a convenient source of tunable deep-blue emission with possible applications in organic electroluminescent systems. The optically inaccessible exciplexes were produced via recombination of radiation-generated radical ion pairs in alkane solution, which mimics charge transport and recombination in the active layer of practical organic light-emitting diodes in a simple solution-based experiment. Despite varying and rather poor intrinsic emission properties, diphenylacetylene and its prototypical methoxy (donor) or trifluoromethyl (acceptor) monosubstituted derivatives readily form recombination exciplexes with N,N-dimethylaniline and other tertiary amines that produce emission with maxima ranging from 385 to 435 nm. The position of emission band maximum linearly correlates with readily calculated gas-phase electron affinity of the corresponding diphenylacetylene, which can be used for fast computational prescreening of the candidate molecules, and various substituted diphenylacetylenes can be synthesized via relatively simple and universal cross-coupling reactions of Sonogashira and Castro. Together, the simple solution-based experiment, computationally cheap prescreening method, and universal synthetic strategy may open a very broad and chemically convenient class of compounds to obtain OLEDs and OLED-based multifunctional devices with tunable emission spectrum and high conversion efficiency that has yet not been seriously considered for these purposes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry