Rational molecular design for realizing high performance sky-blue-emitting gold(iii) complexes with monoaryl auxiliary ligands and their applications for both solution-processable and vacuum-deposited organic light-emitting devices
A new class of sky-blue-emitting arylgold(III) complexes containing tridentate bis-cyclometalating ligands derived from 2,6-diphenylpyridine (C^N^C) has been successfully designed and synthesized. By systematically varying the electron-withdrawing groups from cyano, fluoro, and trifluoromethyl to trifluoromethoxy groups on the phenyl ring of the tridentate C^N^C ligands, the emission maxima of these complexes have been significantly blue-shifted from 492 nm to 466 nm in dichloromethane solution. In addition, the higher excited state distortion with respect to the ground state associated with the multiple fluoro substitutions at the tridentate ligand has been successfully reduced by the employment of trifluoromethyl and trifluoromethoxy groups, as revealed by the Huang-Rhys factor. Taking advantage of their high photoluminescence quantum yields of up to 43% in the solid-state MCP thin-films, high performance solution-processable and vacuum-deposited organic light-emitting devices with external quantum efficiencies of up to 5.3% and 11.3%, respectively, have been realized. This work represents the first demonstration of sky-blue-emitting gold(III) complexes with an x chromaticity coordinate of <0.2.
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