Abstract

We demonstrate mechanically flexible, organic light-emitting devices (OLED's) based on the nonpolymetric thin-film materials tris-(8-hydroxyquinoline) aluminum (Alq3) and N, N-diphenyl-N, N-bis(3-methylphenyl)1-1biphenyl-4, 4 diamine (TPD). The single heterostructure is vacuum deposited upon a transparent, lightweight, thin plastic substrate precoated with a transparent, conducting indium tin oxide thin film. The flexible OLED performance is comparable with that of conventional OLED's deposited upon glass substrates and does not deteriorate after repeated bending. The large-area (1-cm2) devices can be bent without failure even after a permanent fold occurs if they are on the convex substrate surface or over a bend radius of 0.5 cm if they are on the concave surface. Such devices are useful for ultralightweight, flexible, and comfortable full-color flat panel displays.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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  1. S. R. Forrest, P. E. Burrows, and M. E. Thompson, Laser Focus World 31,(2) (1995).
  2. P. E. Burrows and S. R. Forrest, Appl. Phys. Lett. 64, 2285 (1993).
    [CrossRef]
  3. P. E. Burrows, Z. Shen, V. Bulovic, D. M. McCarty, S. R. Forrest, J. A. Cronin, and M. E. Thompson, J. Appl. Phys. 79, 7991 (1996).
    [CrossRef]
  4. C. Tang, S. VanSlyke, and C. Chen, J. Appl. Phys. 65, 3610 (1989).
    [CrossRef]
  5. T. Wakimoto, R. Murayama, K. Nagayama, Y. Okuda, H. Nakada, and T. Tohma, SID 96 Digest (Society for Information Display, Santa Ana, Calif., 1996), p. 894.
  6. G. Gu, V. Bulovic, P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, and M. E. Thompson, Appl. Phys. Lett. 68, 2606 (1996).
    [CrossRef]
  7. P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, S. P. Sibley, and M. E. Thompson, “Transparent light-emitting devices,” submitted to Nature London.
  8. P. Yam, Sci. Am. 273, 83 (1995).
  9. G. Gustaffson, G. M. Treacy, Y. Cao, F. Klavertter, N. Colaneri, and A. J. Heeger, Synth. Metals 57, 4123 (1993).
    [CrossRef]
  10. Y. Zhang and S. R. Forrest, Phys. Rev. Lett. 71, 2765 (1993).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. C. Kittel, Solid State Physics, 4th ed. (Wiley, New York, 1971), p. 143.
  12. Southwall Technologies, Inc., 1029 Corporation Way, Palo Alto, Calif., 94303, Part No.  903-6011.
  13. D. Z. Garbuzov, S. R. Forrest, A. G. Tsekoun, P. E. Burrows, V. Bulovic, and M. E. Thompson, J. Appl. Phys. 80, 4644 (1996).
    [CrossRef]
  14. P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, L. S. Sapochak, P. Fenter, T. Buma, V. S. Ban, and J. L. Forrest, J. Cryst. Growth 156, 91 (1995).
    [CrossRef]

1996

P. E. Burrows, Z. Shen, V. Bulovic, D. M. McCarty, S. R. Forrest, J. A. Cronin, and M. E. Thompson, J. Appl. Phys. 79, 7991 (1996).
[CrossRef]

G. Gu, V. Bulovic, P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, and M. E. Thompson, Appl. Phys. Lett. 68, 2606 (1996).
[CrossRef]

D. Z. Garbuzov, S. R. Forrest, A. G. Tsekoun, P. E. Burrows, V. Bulovic, and M. E. Thompson, J. Appl. Phys. 80, 4644 (1996).
[CrossRef]

1995

P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, L. S. Sapochak, P. Fenter, T. Buma, V. S. Ban, and J. L. Forrest, J. Cryst. Growth 156, 91 (1995).
[CrossRef]

P. Yam, Sci. Am. 273, 83 (1995).

S. R. Forrest, P. E. Burrows, and M. E. Thompson, Laser Focus World 31,(2) (1995).

1993

P. E. Burrows and S. R. Forrest, Appl. Phys. Lett. 64, 2285 (1993).
[CrossRef]

G. Gustaffson, G. M. Treacy, Y. Cao, F. Klavertter, N. Colaneri, and A. J. Heeger, Synth. Metals 57, 4123 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Y. Zhang and S. R. Forrest, Phys. Rev. Lett. 71, 2765 (1993).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1989

C. Tang, S. VanSlyke, and C. Chen, J. Appl. Phys. 65, 3610 (1989).
[CrossRef]

Ban, V. S.

P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, L. S. Sapochak, P. Fenter, T. Buma, V. S. Ban, and J. L. Forrest, J. Cryst. Growth 156, 91 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Bulovic, V.

D. Z. Garbuzov, S. R. Forrest, A. G. Tsekoun, P. E. Burrows, V. Bulovic, and M. E. Thompson, J. Appl. Phys. 80, 4644 (1996).
[CrossRef]

P. E. Burrows, Z. Shen, V. Bulovic, D. M. McCarty, S. R. Forrest, J. A. Cronin, and M. E. Thompson, J. Appl. Phys. 79, 7991 (1996).
[CrossRef]

G. Gu, V. Bulovic, P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, and M. E. Thompson, Appl. Phys. Lett. 68, 2606 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Buma, T.

P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, L. S. Sapochak, P. Fenter, T. Buma, V. S. Ban, and J. L. Forrest, J. Cryst. Growth 156, 91 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Burrows, P. E.

D. Z. Garbuzov, S. R. Forrest, A. G. Tsekoun, P. E. Burrows, V. Bulovic, and M. E. Thompson, J. Appl. Phys. 80, 4644 (1996).
[CrossRef]

G. Gu, V. Bulovic, P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, and M. E. Thompson, Appl. Phys. Lett. 68, 2606 (1996).
[CrossRef]

P. E. Burrows, Z. Shen, V. Bulovic, D. M. McCarty, S. R. Forrest, J. A. Cronin, and M. E. Thompson, J. Appl. Phys. 79, 7991 (1996).
[CrossRef]

S. R. Forrest, P. E. Burrows, and M. E. Thompson, Laser Focus World 31,(2) (1995).

P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, L. S. Sapochak, P. Fenter, T. Buma, V. S. Ban, and J. L. Forrest, J. Cryst. Growth 156, 91 (1995).
[CrossRef]

P. E. Burrows and S. R. Forrest, Appl. Phys. Lett. 64, 2285 (1993).
[CrossRef]

P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, S. P. Sibley, and M. E. Thompson, “Transparent light-emitting devices,” submitted to Nature London.

Cao, Y.

G. Gustaffson, G. M. Treacy, Y. Cao, F. Klavertter, N. Colaneri, and A. J. Heeger, Synth. Metals 57, 4123 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Chen, C.

C. Tang, S. VanSlyke, and C. Chen, J. Appl. Phys. 65, 3610 (1989).
[CrossRef]

Colaneri, N.

G. Gustaffson, G. M. Treacy, Y. Cao, F. Klavertter, N. Colaneri, and A. J. Heeger, Synth. Metals 57, 4123 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Cronin, J. A.

P. E. Burrows, Z. Shen, V. Bulovic, D. M. McCarty, S. R. Forrest, J. A. Cronin, and M. E. Thompson, J. Appl. Phys. 79, 7991 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Fenter, P.

P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, L. S. Sapochak, P. Fenter, T. Buma, V. S. Ban, and J. L. Forrest, J. Cryst. Growth 156, 91 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Forrest, J. L.

P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, L. S. Sapochak, P. Fenter, T. Buma, V. S. Ban, and J. L. Forrest, J. Cryst. Growth 156, 91 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Forrest, S. R.

D. Z. Garbuzov, S. R. Forrest, A. G. Tsekoun, P. E. Burrows, V. Bulovic, and M. E. Thompson, J. Appl. Phys. 80, 4644 (1996).
[CrossRef]

P. E. Burrows, Z. Shen, V. Bulovic, D. M. McCarty, S. R. Forrest, J. A. Cronin, and M. E. Thompson, J. Appl. Phys. 79, 7991 (1996).
[CrossRef]

G. Gu, V. Bulovic, P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, and M. E. Thompson, Appl. Phys. Lett. 68, 2606 (1996).
[CrossRef]

S. R. Forrest, P. E. Burrows, and M. E. Thompson, Laser Focus World 31,(2) (1995).

P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, L. S. Sapochak, P. Fenter, T. Buma, V. S. Ban, and J. L. Forrest, J. Cryst. Growth 156, 91 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Y. Zhang and S. R. Forrest, Phys. Rev. Lett. 71, 2765 (1993).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

P. E. Burrows and S. R. Forrest, Appl. Phys. Lett. 64, 2285 (1993).
[CrossRef]

P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, S. P. Sibley, and M. E. Thompson, “Transparent light-emitting devices,” submitted to Nature London.

Garbuzov, D. Z.

D. Z. Garbuzov, S. R. Forrest, A. G. Tsekoun, P. E. Burrows, V. Bulovic, and M. E. Thompson, J. Appl. Phys. 80, 4644 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Gu, G.

G. Gu, V. Bulovic, P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, and M. E. Thompson, Appl. Phys. Lett. 68, 2606 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Gustaffson, G.

G. Gustaffson, G. M. Treacy, Y. Cao, F. Klavertter, N. Colaneri, and A. J. Heeger, Synth. Metals 57, 4123 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Heeger, A. J.

G. Gustaffson, G. M. Treacy, Y. Cao, F. Klavertter, N. Colaneri, and A. J. Heeger, Synth. Metals 57, 4123 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Kittel, C.

C. Kittel, Solid State Physics, 4th ed. (Wiley, New York, 1971), p. 143.

Klavertter, F.

G. Gustaffson, G. M. Treacy, Y. Cao, F. Klavertter, N. Colaneri, and A. J. Heeger, Synth. Metals 57, 4123 (1993).
[CrossRef]

McCarty, D. M.

P. E. Burrows, Z. Shen, V. Bulovic, D. M. McCarty, S. R. Forrest, J. A. Cronin, and M. E. Thompson, J. Appl. Phys. 79, 7991 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Murayama, R.

T. Wakimoto, R. Murayama, K. Nagayama, Y. Okuda, H. Nakada, and T. Tohma, SID 96 Digest (Society for Information Display, Santa Ana, Calif., 1996), p. 894.

Nagayama, K.

T. Wakimoto, R. Murayama, K. Nagayama, Y. Okuda, H. Nakada, and T. Tohma, SID 96 Digest (Society for Information Display, Santa Ana, Calif., 1996), p. 894.

Nakada, H.

T. Wakimoto, R. Murayama, K. Nagayama, Y. Okuda, H. Nakada, and T. Tohma, SID 96 Digest (Society for Information Display, Santa Ana, Calif., 1996), p. 894.

Okuda, Y.

T. Wakimoto, R. Murayama, K. Nagayama, Y. Okuda, H. Nakada, and T. Tohma, SID 96 Digest (Society for Information Display, Santa Ana, Calif., 1996), p. 894.

Sapochak, L. S.

P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, L. S. Sapochak, P. Fenter, T. Buma, V. S. Ban, and J. L. Forrest, J. Cryst. Growth 156, 91 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Shen, Z.

P. E. Burrows, Z. Shen, V. Bulovic, D. M. McCarty, S. R. Forrest, J. A. Cronin, and M. E. Thompson, J. Appl. Phys. 79, 7991 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Sibley, S. P.

P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, S. P. Sibley, and M. E. Thompson, “Transparent light-emitting devices,” submitted to Nature London.

Tang, C.

C. Tang, S. VanSlyke, and C. Chen, J. Appl. Phys. 65, 3610 (1989).
[CrossRef]

Thompson, M. E.

P. E. Burrows, Z. Shen, V. Bulovic, D. M. McCarty, S. R. Forrest, J. A. Cronin, and M. E. Thompson, J. Appl. Phys. 79, 7991 (1996).
[CrossRef]

G. Gu, V. Bulovic, P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, and M. E. Thompson, Appl. Phys. Lett. 68, 2606 (1996).
[CrossRef]

D. Z. Garbuzov, S. R. Forrest, A. G. Tsekoun, P. E. Burrows, V. Bulovic, and M. E. Thompson, J. Appl. Phys. 80, 4644 (1996).
[CrossRef]

S. R. Forrest, P. E. Burrows, and M. E. Thompson, Laser Focus World 31,(2) (1995).

P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, S. P. Sibley, and M. E. Thompson, “Transparent light-emitting devices,” submitted to Nature London.

Tohma, T.

T. Wakimoto, R. Murayama, K. Nagayama, Y. Okuda, H. Nakada, and T. Tohma, SID 96 Digest (Society for Information Display, Santa Ana, Calif., 1996), p. 894.

Treacy, G. M.

G. Gustaffson, G. M. Treacy, Y. Cao, F. Klavertter, N. Colaneri, and A. J. Heeger, Synth. Metals 57, 4123 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Tsekoun, A. G.

D. Z. Garbuzov, S. R. Forrest, A. G. Tsekoun, P. E. Burrows, V. Bulovic, and M. E. Thompson, J. Appl. Phys. 80, 4644 (1996).
[CrossRef]

VanSlyke, S.

C. Tang, S. VanSlyke, and C. Chen, J. Appl. Phys. 65, 3610 (1989).
[CrossRef]

Wakimoto, T.

T. Wakimoto, R. Murayama, K. Nagayama, Y. Okuda, H. Nakada, and T. Tohma, SID 96 Digest (Society for Information Display, Santa Ana, Calif., 1996), p. 894.

Yam, P.

P. Yam, Sci. Am. 273, 83 (1995).

Zhang, Y.

Y. Zhang and S. R. Forrest, Phys. Rev. Lett. 71, 2765 (1993).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Appl. Phys. Lett.

P. E. Burrows and S. R. Forrest, Appl. Phys. Lett. 64, 2285 (1993).
[CrossRef]

G. Gu, V. Bulovic, P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, and M. E. Thompson, Appl. Phys. Lett. 68, 2606 (1996).
[CrossRef]

J. Appl. Phys.

P. E. Burrows, Z. Shen, V. Bulovic, D. M. McCarty, S. R. Forrest, J. A. Cronin, and M. E. Thompson, J. Appl. Phys. 79, 7991 (1996).
[CrossRef]

C. Tang, S. VanSlyke, and C. Chen, J. Appl. Phys. 65, 3610 (1989).
[CrossRef]

D. Z. Garbuzov, S. R. Forrest, A. G. Tsekoun, P. E. Burrows, V. Bulovic, and M. E. Thompson, J. Appl. Phys. 80, 4644 (1996).
[CrossRef]

J. Cryst. Growth

P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, L. S. Sapochak, P. Fenter, T. Buma, V. S. Ban, and J. L. Forrest, J. Cryst. Growth 156, 91 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Laser Focus World

S. R. Forrest, P. E. Burrows, and M. E. Thompson, Laser Focus World 31,(2) (1995).

Phys. Rev. Lett.

Y. Zhang and S. R. Forrest, Phys. Rev. Lett. 71, 2765 (1993).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Sci. Am.

P. Yam, Sci. Am. 273, 83 (1995).

Synth. Metals

G. Gustaffson, G. M. Treacy, Y. Cao, F. Klavertter, N. Colaneri, and A. J. Heeger, Synth. Metals 57, 4123 (1993).
[CrossRef]

Other

P. E. Burrows, S. R. Forrest, S. P. Sibley, and M. E. Thompson, “Transparent light-emitting devices,” submitted to Nature London.

T. Wakimoto, R. Murayama, K. Nagayama, Y. Okuda, H. Nakada, and T. Tohma, SID 96 Digest (Society for Information Display, Santa Ana, Calif., 1996), p. 894.

C. Kittel, Solid State Physics, 4th ed. (Wiley, New York, 1971), p. 143.

Southwall Technologies, Inc., 1029 Corporation Way, Palo Alto, Calif., 94303, Part No.  903-6011.

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Current versus voltage characteristics of a 1-mm-diameter, vacuum-deposited, flexible OLED before bending and after repeated bending and of a conventional OLED on glass. Inset, the structure of the vacuum-deposited flexible OLED.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Atomic force microscope (AFM) images of a typical ITO-coated polyester substrate film: (a) ITO (top) substrate surface, (b) polyester (bottom) substrate surface.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Light output power versus current characteristics of a 1-mm-diameter, vacuum-deposited, flexible OLED before bending and after repeated bending and of a conventional OLED on glass.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Photograph of an array of nine unpackaged 1  cm2 vacuum-deposited, nonpolymeric flexible OLED's. One device in contact the probe arm is operating in air in a well-illuminated room at normal video display brightness (100 cd/m2).

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