Polymers with carbazole-oxadiazole side chains as ambipolar hosts for phosphorescent light-emitting diodes

Yadong Zhang, Carlos Zuniga, Sung Jin Kim, Dengke Cai, Stephen Barlow, Seyhan Salman, Veaceslav Coropceanu, Jean Luc Brédas, Bernard Kippelen, Seth Marder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Polymethacrylates, polystyrenes, and polynorbornenes bearing 2-(3-(carbazol-9-yl)phenyl)-5-phenyl-1,3,4-oxadiazole, 2-(4-(carbazol-9-yl) phenyl)-5-phenyl-1,3,4-oxadiazole, 2-(3,5-di(carbazol-9-yl)phenyl)-5-phenyl-1,3, 4-oxadiazole) groups linked to the polymer backbone through the 3-position of their terminal phenyl groups have been synthesized for use as solution-processable ambipolar hosts for phosphorescent light-emitting diodes. The polymers exhibit good thermal stabilities, with no weight loss below 350 °C, and have glass-transition temperatures in the range 118-209 °C. Spectroscopic, electrochemical, and quantum-chemical data for small-molecule model compounds suggest that the side chain groups are suitable hosts for a range of phosphors, including the green-emitter fac-tris(2-phenylpyridinato-N, C2′)iridium (Ir(ppy)3). Light-emitting diodes were fabricated, each with a solution-processed photo-cross-linked hole-transport layer, a solution-processed emissive layer composed of a carbazole-oxadiazole- functionalized polymethacrylate doped with Ir(ppy)3, and an evaporated electron-transport layer. The polymer with 2-(3,5-(dicarbazol-9-yl) phenyl)-5-phenyl-1,3,4-oxadiazole units in the side chain exhibited the lowest turn-on voltage (6.0 V), and the highest efficiency (external quantum efficiency of 10.0%, current efficiency of 34.1 cd/A).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4002-4015
Number of pages14
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 13 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Oxadiazole
  • carbazole
  • light-emitting diode
  • phosphorescence
  • side-chain polymer
  • triplet energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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