Isomer dependent molecular packing and carrier mobility of N-phenylcarbazole–phenanthro[9,10-d]imidazole based materials as hosts for efficient electrophosphorescence devices†
Two isomers of N-phenylcarbazole substituted phenanthro[9,10-d]imidazole, PI22PPCz and PI33PPCz, have been synthesized in this study. The target molecules provide perfect models for studying the effects of different molecular structures and molecular packing on the performance of host materials for organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). The ortho-substituted PI22PPCz forms an extremely twisted molecular structure with intramolecular π⋯π interactions and intramolecular charge transfer characteristics. For meta-substituted PI33PPCz, the molecules aggregate into the solid state based on intermolecular π⋯π interactions and its electron donor and acceptor moieties separately assemble into different columns as in the crystal, which is beneficial to enhance hole and electron mobility. Therefore, PI33PPCz is a better host material for OLEDs compared with PI22PPCz. A green phosphorescent OLED using PI33PPCz as the host achieves very high brightness and extremely low efficiency roll-off, and its external quantum efficiency (EQE) can still be maintained above 22% when the brightness is 5000 cd m−2. Moreover, a red phosphorescent OLED using PI33PPCz as the host also shows the maximum EQE of over 20% with enhanced performance.