Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


From molecules to organic light emitting diodes


Scientists at the MPI-P Mainz, BASF Ludwigshafen, the University of Ulm, and Innovation Lab Heidelberg have developed a simulation toolkit for evaluating properties of organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) based solely on their chemical composition. The package is integrated in the free software VOTCA and helps to pre-select suitable organic molecules for lighting and display applications.

The research group headed by Dr. Denis Andrienko, project leader at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (Theory department, director Prof. Kurt Kremer) has developed a set of multiscale simulation techniques which predict macroscopic properties of an organic light emitting diode (OLED) from its chemical composition.

Possible workflows of parameter-free OLED simulations: polarizable force-fields and electronic properties of isolated molecules obtained from first principles are used to generate amorphous morphologies and evaluate charge transfer rates in small systems (microscopic models). Coarse-grained models are parametrized either by matching macroscopic observables, e.g., charge mobility, of the microscopic and coarse-grained (lattice) models. The resulting analytical expressions for mobility are then used to solve drift-diffusion equations for the entire device, after incorporating long-range electrostatic effects and electrodes. Alternatively, off-lattice models can be developed by matching distributions and correlations of site energies, electronic couplings, and positions of molecules. The master equations for this model can be solved using the kinetic Monte Carlo algorithm, yielding macroscopic characteristics of a device.


The link between the molecular and mesoscopic scales became possible by combining advanced coarse-graining techniques with efficient simulation algorithms (see Figure). Implemented, among others, by the PhD candidate Pascal Kordt and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Jeroen van der Holst, this development facilitated computer simulations of electron and exciton motion in about 100 nanometer-thick OLED layers, i.e. macroscopically large, yet microscopically-resolved systems.

The developed methods are reviewed in the feature article “Modeling of Organic Light Emitting Diodes: From Molecular to Device Properties” of Advanced Functional Materials, and highlighted as a cover page.

Denis Andrienko explains how useful the software is to the organic semiconductors industry: “Modern mobile phones already use OLED (AMOLED), and large OLED-based TV screens are entering the market. Yet, the materials design for these applications often progresses via the trial-and-error strategy”, he explains.

“In our approach both atomistic morphologies of amorphous OLED layers and charge motion are predicted solely from molecular structures. In contrast to experiments, OLED properties are then directly linked to the underlying chemistry and material morphology.”

The expectation, backed up by the European Research Council and financially supported by the German Ministry for Education and Research (grant MESOMERIE, FKZ 13N10723), is that the computer-based design will rapidly grow in the coming years, allowing companies to save money on synthesis and characterization of new materials.

Interestingly, the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. LEDs are by now used as signal lights in alarm clocks, entertainment devices, flashlights, and more recently in large-area displays, where tiny red, green, and blue LEDs form a pixel. Millions of pixels are employed to display an image.

In every pixel electrons constantly recombine with their counterparts (holes) and form photons, the elementary particle of light. Depending on the material, these photons have different energy, or wavelength, which then determines the light color. LEDs are made of inorganic materials and are therefore exceptionally stable. Recent developments in organic semiconductors illustrated that organic semiconductors can provide complementary material properties, e.g. high contrast ratios, curved shapes, or mechanical flexibility (bendable and foldable displays).

The task of computer simulations is to help designing new materials for OLEDs. Even with modern supercomputers, however, it is impossible to simulate an OLED with the full atomistic detail. To remedy the situation, multiscale schemes are employed: properties of a single molecule are evaluated using first principle methods.

Subsequently, a classical molecular model is parameterized and used to study systems of thousands molecules. OLED layers, however, consist of 100 nanometer thick layers (millions of molecules). In VOTCA, an intermediate stochastic model is introduced, which reproduces distributions of important microscopic properties (e.g. distances between molecules), and is then employed to simulate an entire OLED device.

In spite of the clear roadmap in designing new materials for OLEDs, the methods and code development are always “under construction”, which makes it an interesting and exciting research topic.

Weitere Informationen: - Press release and original publication - Information about Dr. Andrienko and his research - Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research

Natacha Bouvier | Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht 'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region
16.03.2018 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht Fraunhofer HHI have developed a novel single-polarization Kramers-Kronig receiver scheme
16.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>