Excited-state modulation in donor-substituted multiresonant thermally activated delayed fluorescence emitters

Sen Wu, Wenbo Li, Kou Yoshida, David Hall, Subeesh Madayanad Suresh, Thomas Sayner, Junyi Gong, David Beljonne, Yoann Olivier*, Ifor D. W. Samuel*, Eli Zysman-Colman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Strategies to tune the emission of multiresonant thermally activated delayed fluorescence (MR-TADF) emitters remain rare. Here, we explore the effect of donor substitution about a MR-TADF core on the emission energy and the nature of the excited state. We decorate different numbers and types of electron-donors about a central MR-TADF core, DiKTa. Depending on the identity and number of donor groups, the excited state either remains short-range charge transfer (SRCT) and thus characteristic of an MR-TADF emitter or becomes a long-range charge transfer (LRCT) that is typically observed in donor–acceptor TADF emitters. The impact is that in three examples that emit from a SRCT state, Cz-DiKTa, Cz-Ph-DiKTa, and 3Cz-DiKTa, the emission remains narrow, while in four examples that emit via a LRCT state, TMCz-DiKTa, DMAC-DiKTa, 3TMCz-DiKTa, and 3DMAC-DiKTa, the emission broadens significantly. Through this strategy, the organic light-emitting diodes fabricated with the three MR-TADF emitters show maximum electroluminescence emission wavelengths, λEL, of 511, 492, and 547 nm with moderate full width at half-maxima (fwhm) of 62, 61, and 54 nm, respectively. Importantly, each of these devices show high maximum external quantum efficiencies (EQEmax) of 24.4, 23.0, and 24.4%, which are among the highest reported with ketone-based MR-TADF emitters. OLEDs with D–A type emitters, DMAC-DiKTa and TMCz-DiKTa, also show high efficiencies, with EQEmax of 23.8 and 20.2%, but accompanied by broad emission at λEL of 549 and 527 nm, respectively. Notably, the DMAC-DiKTa-based OLED shows very small efficiency roll-off, and its EQE remains 18.5% at 1000 cd m–2. Therefore, this work demonstrates that manipulating the nature and numbers of donor groups decorating a central MR-TADF core is a promising strategy for both red-shifting the emission and improving the performance of the OLEDs.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
VolumeArticles ASAP
Early online date9 May 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 May 2022


  • Narrowband emission
  • Donor decoration
  • Organic light-emitting diodes
  • Thermally activated delayed fluorescence
  • Multiresonant thermally activated delayed fluorescence
  • Short-range charge transfer


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