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Toward Tunable Electroluminescent Devices by Correlating Function and Submolecular Structure in 3D Crystals, 2D-Confined Monolayers, and Dimers

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posted on 2018-06-22, 11:19 authored by Sebastian Wilde, Dongxin Ma, Tobias Koch, Anne Bakker, Dario Gonzalez-Abradelo, Linda Stegemann, Constantin G. Daniliuc, Harald Fuchs, Hongying Gao, Nikos L. Doltsinis, Lian Duan, Cristian A. Strassert
The synthesis of new Pt­(II) complexes bearing tailored cyclometalated C^N*N^C luminophores is reported along with their photophysical properties. The emission of the monomeric species can be blue shifted upon formal isosteric replacement of two C–H units by N atoms at the two cyclometalating rings. Their remarkable stability upon sublimation was demonstrated by means of scanning tunneling microscopy, which also revealed a defined self-assembly behavior leading to supramolecular arrays, showing a 3-fold symmetry in 2D-confined monolayers. The supramolecular organization is driven by van der Waals interactions of the side chains and does not depend on the nature of the luminophores, as also observed in the crystalline phases showing no significant Pt–Pt interactions in 3D. Conversely, the luminescence properties in glassy matrices at 77 K and in amorphous solids are indicative of intermolecular interactions with sizable intermetallic coupling, which was demonstrated by reproducing the emission spectra of dimeric species by means of (TD)­DFT calculations. The tendency toward aggregation was also traceable by cyclic voltammetry, whereas thermogravimetric analyses confirmed their stability. Solution-processed and vacuum-deposited OLED devices showed a concentration-dependent electroluminescence that red shifts with increasing doping ratios. Due to the stability of the complexes, solution-processed and vacuum-deposited devices showed identical electroluminescence spectra. Besides favoring aggregation, introduction of two N atoms has a detrimental effect on the device performance, due to the prolonged excited-state lifetimes favoring triplet–triplet annihilation.