Since the first demonstration of light-emitting electrochemical cells (LECs) in 1995, much effort has been made to develop this technology for display and lighting. A common LEC generally contains a single emissive layer blended with a salt, which provides mobile ions under a bias. Ions accumulated at electrodes facilitate electrochemical doping such that operation voltage is low even when employing high-work-function inert electrodes. The superior properties of simple device architecture, low-voltage operation, and compatibility with inert metal electrode render LECs suitable for cost-effective light-emitting sources. In addition to enormous progress in developing novel emissive materials for LECs, optical engineering has been shown to improve device performance of LECs in an alternative way. Light outcoupling enhancement technologies recycle the trapped light and increase the light output from LECs. Techniques to estimate emission zone position provide a powerful tool to study carrier balance of LECs and to optimize device performance. Spectral tailoring of the output emission from LECs based on microcavity effect and localized surface plasmon resonance of metal nanoparticles improves the intrinsic emission properties of emissive materials by optical means. These reported optical techniques are overviewed in this review.
- emission zone
- light outcoupling
- light-emitting electrochemical cells
- optical engineering
- spectral tailoring