Hybrid light emitting diodes based on solution processed polymers, colloidal quantum dots, and colloidal metal nanoparticles
University of Delaware
This dissertation focuses on solution-processed light-emitting devices based on polymer, polymer/PbS quantum dot, and polymer/silver nanoparticle hybrid materials. Solution based materials and organic/inorganic hybrid light emitting diodes attracted significant interest recently due to many of their advantages over conventional light emitting diodes (LEDs) including low fabrication cost, flexible, high substrate compatibility, as well as tunable emission wavelength of the quantum dot materials. However, the application of these novel solution processed materials based devices is still limited due to their low performances. Material properties and fabrication parameters need to be carefully examined and understood for further device improvement. This thesis first investigates the impact of solvent property and evaporation rate on the polymer molecular chain morphology and packaging in device structures. Solvent is a key component to make the active material solution for spin coating fabrication process. Their impacts are observed and examined on both polymer blend system and mono-polymer device. Secondly, PbS colloidal quantum dot are introduced to form hybrid device with polymer and to migrate the device emission into near-IR range. As we show, the dithiol molecules used to cross-link quantum dots determine the optical and electrical property of the resulting thin films. By choosing a proper ligand for quantum dot ligand exchange, a high performance polymer/quantum dot hybrid LED is fabricated. In the end, the interaction of polymer exciton with surface plasmon mode in colloidal silver nanoparticles and the use of this effect to enhance solution processed LEDs' performances are investigated.