Degradation effects in poly para-phenylene vinylene derivatives due to controlled oxygen exposure

F.J.J. Janssen, L.J. van IJzendoorn (Corresponding Author), H.F.M. Schoo, J.M. Sturm, G.G. Andersson, A.W. Denier van der Gon, H.H. Brongersma, M.J.A. de Voigt

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24 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of oxygen exposure on three chemically different poly para-phenylene vinylene (PPV) derivatives used in polymeric light emitting devices (PLEDs) has been investigated. During device preparation, PPV layers have been exposed to oxygen either in the dark or during the irradiation with visible light, before the cathode was applied. Device efficiency was studied by electrical and optical characterisation and correlated to oxygen depth profiles measured with Elastic Recoil Detection Analysis (ERDA).

Treatment with oxygen during light exposure leads to a decrease in current, light output and efficiency. It was found that two different PPV derivatives show the same current and light output reduction with different oxygen uptake. This behaviour is explained in terms of a different chemical structure and the number of structural defects (tolane-bisbenzyl moieties (TBBs)) incorporated. For two PPV derivatives treated with oxygen in the dark a reduction in current and light output was found, while the efficiency was unchanged. Another PPV derivative, however, shows a shift in the on-set voltage of the light output accompanied by an increased oxygen level at the PPV/Ca interface. It is concluded that after exposure in the dark, oxygen is incorporated in the PPV by Van der Waals interaction. During evaporation of the cathodes, oxygen will diffuse to the cathode and will be gettered by the calcium, which results in the formation of an electron injection barrier.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-174
JournalSynthetic metals
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Conducting polymers
  • Light emitting diodes
  • Oxygen
  • Elastic recoil detection analysis
  • Polymer structure
  • Electrical characterisation


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