Graphene oxide/graphene vertical heterostructure electrodes for highly efficient and flexible organic light emitting diodes†
The relatively high sheet resistance, low work function and poor compatibility with hole injection layers (HILs) seriously limit the applications of graphene as transparent conductive electrodes (TCEs) for organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs). Here, a graphene oxide/graphene (GO/G) vertical heterostructure is developed as TCEs for high-performance OLEDs, by directly oxidizing the top layer of three-layer graphene films with ozone treatment. Such GO/G heterostructure electrodes show greatly improved optical transmittance, a large work function, high stability, and good compatibility with HIL materials (MoO3 in this work). Moreover, the conductivity of the heterostructure is not sacrificed compared to the pristine three-layer graphene electrodes, but is significantly higher than that of pristine two-layer graphene films. In addition to high flexibility, OLEDs with different emission colors based on the GO/G heterostructure TCEs show much better performance than those based on indium tin oxide (ITO) anodes. Green OLEDs with GO/G heterostructure electrodes have the maximum current efficiency and power efficiency, as high as 82.0 cd A−1 and 98.2 lm W−1, respectively, which are 36.7% (14.8%) and 59.2% (15.0%) higher than those with pristine graphene (ITO) anodes. These findings open up the possibility of using graphene for next generation high-performance flexible and wearable optoelectronics with high stability.