Robert Pollice University of Toronto
One of the recent proposals for the design of state-of-the-art emissive materials for organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) is the principle of thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF). The underlying idea is to enable facile thermal upconversion of excited state triplets, which are generated upon electron-hole recombination, to excited state singlets by minimizing the corresponding energy difference resulting in devices with up to 100% internal quantum efficiencies (IQEs). Ideal emissive materials potentially surpassing TADF emitters should have both negative singlet-triplet gaps and appreciable fluorescence rates to maximize reverse intersystem crossing (rISC) rates from excited triplets to singlets while minimizing ISC rates and triplet state occupation leading to long-term operational stability. However, molecules with negative singlet-triplet gaps are extremely rare and, to the best of our knowledge, not emissive. In this work, based on computational studies, we describe the first molecules with negative singlet-triplet gaps and considerable fluorescence rates and show that they are more common than hypothesized previously.
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