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Efficiency Roll-Off in Organic Light-Emitting Diodes



Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) have attracted much attention in research and industry thanks to their capability to emit light with high efficiency and to deliver high-quality white light that provides good color rendering. OLEDs feature homogeneous large area emission and can be produced on flexible substrates. In terms of efficiency, OLEDs can compete with highly efficient conventional light sources but their efficiency typically decreases at high brightness levels, an effect known as efficiency roll-off. In recent years, much effort has been undertaken to understand the underlying processes and to develop methods that improve the high-brightness performance of OLEDs. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge and provide a detailed description of the relevant principles, both for phosphorescent and fluorescent emitter molecules. In particular, we focus on exciton-quenching mechanisms, such as triplet–triplet annihilation, quenching by polarons, or field-induced quenching, but also discuss mechanisms such as changes in charge carrier balance. We further review methods that may reduce the roll-off and thus enable OLEDs to be used in high-brightness applications.