Green phosphorescence and electroluminescence of sulfur pentafluoride-functionalized cationic iridium(III) complexes

Nail Malikovich Shavaleev, Guohua Xie, Shinto Varghese, David Bradford Cordes, Alexandra Martha Zoya Slawin, Cristina Momblona, Enrique Ortí, Henk J. Bolink, Ifor David William Samuel, Eli Zysman-Colman

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We report four cationic iridium(III) complexes [Ir(C^N)2(dtBubpy)](PF6) that have sulfurpentafluoride-modified 1-phenylpyrazole and 2-phenylpyridine cyclometalating (C^N) ligands (dtBubpy = 4,4'-di-tert-butyl-2,2'-bipyridyl). Three of the complexes were characterized by single-crystal X-ray structure analysis. In cyclic voltammetry, the complexes undergo reversible oxidation of iridium(III) and irreversible reduction of the SF5 group. They emit bright green phosphorescence in acetonitrile solution and in thin films at room temperature, with emission maxima between 482–519 nm and photoluminescence quantum yields of up to 79%. The electron-withdrawing sulfur pentafluoride group on the cyclometalating ligands increases the oxidation potential and the redox gap and blue-shifts the phosphorescence of the iridium complexes more than do the commonly-employed fluoro and trifluoromethyl groups. The irreversible reduction of the SF5 group may be a problem in organic electronics; for example, the complexes do not exhibit electroluminescence in light-emitting electrochemical cells (LEECs). Nevertheless, the complexes exhibit green to yellow-green electroluminescence in doped multilayer organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) with emission maxima ranging from 501–520 nm and with an external quantum efficiency (EQE) of up to 1.7% in solution-processed devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5907–5914
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number12
Early online date3 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2015


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