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EXCILIGHT Report Summary

Project ID: 674990
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EXCILIGHT (Donor-Acceptor light emitting exciplexes as materials for easily to tailor ultra-efficient OLED lighting)

Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2017-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Artificial lighting is a global and growing industry. New forms of efficient solid state lighting (SSL) in particular are rapidly gaining a market share. New OLED technologies can revolutionise this industry as they have done in displays because of their potential flexible structure, infinite tailoring of their properties, efficiency and high colour quality. In order to fully benefit from this huge market potential, Europe’s academia and industry are eager to develop new technologies and recruit highly qualified staff.

The high demand for OLED SSL lighting will however place drastic demand on the use of very rare and expensive iridium. EXCILIGHT will address these difficulties by exploring exciplex emitters and thermally activated delayed fluorescence in OLEDs that will enable the industry to replace Ir complexes whilst retaining ultrahigh efficiency and giving new possibilities to simplify OLED design. The EXCILIGHT network will train 15 Early Stage Researchers with an innovative and multidisciplinary approach to be a new generation of scientists while at the same time integrating this new technology into the industry.

The overarching aim of this project is to develop “Donor-Acceptor light emitting exciplexes as materials which can be easily tailored for ultra-efficient OLED lighting” through the implementation of the multi-disciplinary EXCILIGHT ITN that combines the following training and A&T objectives:

(1) Training of 15 European PhDs (ESRs) in a innovative and multidisciplinary way. The ESRs will carry out the majority of their research work at their home institutions and spend two secondments at other partners of the network. Another secondment will be spent working in industry to impart knowledge transfer and gain experience in the industrial research culture.
(2) Synthesis and characterisation of donor acceptor organic materials.
(3) Photophysical characterisation of exciplex systems and the TADF mechanism.
(4) Electrochemical and spectroelectrochemical characterisation of donor and acceptor organic materials.
(5) TADF OLED device fabrication and characterisation.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

In this project we are exploring the use of exciplex based emitters with 100% efficiency through the use of thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) in OLEDs. During the first period of the project, a group of 15 PhD students were responsible for design and synthesis of new organic molecules, the analysis of the synthesised compounds and, finally, for the fabrication and characterization of OLED devices. While the analysis of exciplex behaviour of commercially available compounds has been performed, the search for new efficient exciplex sets based on novel molecules advanced simultaneously.

5 PhD students were successfully working on synthesis of several new compounds based on triazine, tetrazine, naphthalene imide etc. based compounds. 4 PhD students were working on electrochemical, spectroscopic and photophysical characteristic of commercially available and newly synthesized compounds for exciplex applications. 6 PhD students were working on different approaches in using exciplexes as efficient emitters. This included tasks ranging from stability optimization, white device formation, and the formation of large area devices up to using printing, spin coating solution deposition process or new in this area Organic Vapour Deposition Process.

The main results achieved were to setup a new impedance technique in analysis of charge carriers in OLED devices, an OLED lifetime measuring system and the formation of fully TADF and fully TADF exciplex based white OLED devices. All of those results bring us closer in to fabrication of efficient OLED lighting devices.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

EXCILIGHT will train a multidisciplinary group of 15 ESRs to meet the future needs of academia and industry in the rapidly emerging area of OLED. The researchers will acquire knowledge in research and development of new materials for OLED lighting, but also a broad experience in team working, working with industrial and academic setting in several EU Member States, to become the research leaders of the future in OLED.

The results of EXCILIGHT will have an impact on the general public, on industry and on future research:

(1) The general public will benefit from new, bendy OLED devices which use limited Iridium, making them environmentally friendly as well as lower-cost.
(2) A new generation of scientists with new sets of techniques to combine will be crucial for future research in OLED.
(3) A new generation of scientist will strengthen the European electronics industry.

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