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Nature. 2002 Dec 19-26;420(6917):800-3.

Electroluminescence from single monolayers of nanocrystals in molecular organic devices.

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  • 1Laboratory of Organic Optoelectronics, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139, USA.


The integration of organic and inorganic materials at the nanometre scale into hybrid optoelectronic structures enables active devices that combine the diversity of organic materials with the high-performance electronic and optical properties of inorganic nanocrystals. The optimization of such hybrid devices ultimately depends upon the precise positioning of the functionally distinct materials. Previous studies have already emphasized that this is a challenge, owing to the lack of well-developed nanometre-scale fabrication techniques. Here we demonstrate a hybrid light-emitting diode (LED) that combines the ease of processability of organic materials with the narrow-band, efficient luminescence of colloidal quantum dots (QDs). To isolate the luminescence processes from charge conduction, we fabricate a quantum-dot LED (QD-LED) that contains only a single monolayer of QDs, sandwiched between two organic thin films. This is achieved by a method that uses material phase segregation between the QD aliphatic capping groups and the aromatic organic materials. In our devices, where QDs function exclusively as lumophores, we observe a 25-fold improvement in luminescence efficiency (1.6 cd A(-1) at 2,000 cd m(-2)) over the best previous QD-LED results. The reproducibility and precision of our phase-segregation approach suggests that this technique could be widely applicable to the fabrication of other hybrid organic/inorganic devices.

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