Bo Zhao, Yanqin Miao, Long Gao, Bingshe Xu, Kexiang Wang, Qiang Zhao, Hua Wang, Peng Tao, Hongxin Li
Two highly efficient red neutral iridium(III) complexes, Ir1 and Ir2, were rationally designed and synthesized by selecting two pyridylimidazole derivatives as the ancillary ligands. Both Ir1 and Ir2 show nearly the same photoluminescence emission with the maximum peak at 595 nm (shoulder band at about 638 nm) and achieve high solution quantum yields of up to 0.47 for Ir1 and 0.57 for Ir2. Employing Ir1 and Ir2 as emitters, the fabricated red organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) show outstanding performance with the maximum external quantum efficiency (EQE), current efficiency (CE), and power efficiency (PE) of 20.98%, 33.04 cd/A, and 33.08 lm/W for the Ir1-based device and 22.15%, 36.89 cd/A, and 35.85 lm/W for the Ir2-based device, respectively. Furthermore, using Ir2 as red emitter, a trichromatic hybrid white OLED, showing good warm white emission with low correlated color temperature of <2200 K under the voltage of 4–6 V, was fabricated successfully. The white device also realizes excellent device efficiencies with the maximum EQE, CE, and PE reaching 22.74%, 44.77 cd/A, and 46.89 lm/W, respectively. Such high electroluminescence performance for red and white OLEDs indicates that Ir1 and Ir2 as efficient red phosphors have great potential for future OLED displays and lightings applications.