Enhanced outcoupling in flexible organic light-emitting diodes on scattering polyimide substrates

Kyung Min Lee, Romain Fardel, Lianfeng Zhao, Craig B. Arnold, Barry P. Rand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


We demonstrate an upscalable approach to increase outcoupling in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) fabricated on flexible substrates. The outcoupling enhancement is enabled by introducing a thin film of microporous polyimide on the backside of silver nanowire (AgNW) electrodes embedded in neat colorless polyimide. This porous polyimide film, prepared by immersion precipitation, utilizes a large index contrast between the polyimide host and randomly distributed air voids, resulting in broadband haze (>75%). In addition, the composite polyimide/AgNW scattering substrate inherits the high thermal (>360 °C), chemical, and mechanical stability of polyimides. The outcoupling efficiency of the composite scattering substrate is studied via optical characterization of the composite substrate and electron microscopy of the scattering film. The flexible scattering substrates compared to glass/indium tin oxide (ITO) allows for a 74% enhancement in external quantum efficiency (EQE) for a phosphorescent green OLED, and 68% EQE enhancement for a phosphorescent white OLED. The outcoupling enhancement remains unharmed after 5000 bending cycles at a 2 mm bending radius. Moreover, the color uniformity over viewing angles is improved, an important feature for lighting applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-476
Number of pages6
JournalOrganic Electronics
StatePublished - Dec 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Colorless polyimide
  • Flexible organic light-emitting diodes
  • Outcoupling
  • Scattering substrate
  • Silver nanowires
  • White organic light emitting devices


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