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Self-Heating in Light-Emitting Electrochemical Cells

: Ràfols-Ribé, J.; Robinson, N.D.; Larson, C.; Tang, S.; Top, M.; Sandström, A.; Erdmann, L.

Fulltext ()

Advanced Functional Materials 30 (2020), No.33, Art. 1908649, 10 pp.
ISSN: 1616-301X
ISSN: 1616-3028
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer FEP ()
LED; OLED; light-emitting; electrochemical cells; self-heating; substrate properties; temperature-dependent performance

Electroluminescent devices become warm during operation, and their performance can, therefore, be severely limited at high drive current density. Herein, the effects of this self‐heating on the operation of a light‐emitting electrochemical cell (LEC) are systematically studied. A drive current density of 50 mA cm−2 can result in a local device temperature for a free‐standing LEC that exceeds 50 °C within a short period of operation, which in turn induces premature device degradation as manifested in the rapidly decreasing luminance and increasing voltage. Furthermore, this undesired self‐heating for a free‐standing thin‐film LEC can be suppressed by the employment of a device architecture featuring high thermal conductance and a small emission‐area fill factor, since the corresponding improved heat conduction to the nonemissive regions facilitates more efficient heat transfer to the ambient surroundings. In addition, the reported differences in performance between small‐area and large‐area LECs as well as between flexible‐plastic and rigid‐glass LECs are rationalized, culminating in insights that can be useful for the rational design of LEC devices with suppressed self‐heating and high performance.