Recently, solid-state light-emitting electrochemical cells (LECs) have attracted much attention since they have advantages such as low operation voltages, simple device structure and balanced carrier injection. Salts are commonly added in the emissive layer of LECs to provide additional mobile ions and thus to accelerate device response. However, in addition to modified ionic property, carrier balance of LECs would also be tailored by salt additives. In this work, we improve device efficiency of LECs by incorporating imidazole-based salts bearing various alkyl chain lengths. As the alkyl chain length of the added salt increases, the device current decreases and the recombination zone approaches the anode. These results reveal that hole transport in the emissive layer of LEC containing a salt with a larger size would be impeded more significantly than electron transport. When doped with a salt possessing a proper size, nearly doubled device efficiency as compared to that of the neat-film device can be obtained due to improved carrier balance. This work demonstrates a feasible strategy to improve device performance of LECs and clarifies the physical insights of the effect of salt size on carrier balance of LECs.
- Carrier balance
- Light-emitting electrochemical cells