Molecular Topology Tuning of Bipolar Host Materials Composed of Fluorene-Bridged Benzimidazole and Carbazole for Highly Efficient Electrophosphorescence



Two new molecules, CzFCBI and CzFNBI, have been tailor-made to serve as bipolar host materials to realize high-efficiency electrophosphorescent devices. The molecular design is configured with carbazole as the hole-transporting block and N-phenylbenzimidazole as the electron-transporting block hybridized through the saturated bridge center (C9) and meta-conjugation site (C3) of fluorene, respectively. With structural topology tuning of the connecting manner between N-phenylbenzimidazole and the fluorene core, the resulting physical properties can be subtly modulated. Bipolar host CzFCBI with a C connectivity between phenylbenzimidazole and the fluorene bridge exhibited extended π conjugation; therefore, a low triplet energy of 2.52 eV was observed, which is insufficient to confine blue phosphorescence. However, the monochromatic devices indicate that the matched energy-level alignment allows CzFCBI to outperform its N-connected counterpart CzFNBI while employing other long-wavelength-emitting phosphorescent guests. In contrast, the high triplet energy (2.72 eV) of CzFNBI imparted by the N connectivity ensures its utilization as a universal bipolar host for blue-to-red phosphors. With a common device configuration, CzFNBI has been utilized to achieve highly efficient and low-roll-off devices with external quantum efficiency as high as 14 % blue, 17.8 % green, 16.6 % yellowish-green, 19.5 % yellow, and 18.6 % red. In addition, by combining yellowish-green with a sky-blue emitter and a red emitter, a CzFNBI-hosted single-emitting-layer all-phosphor three-color-based white electrophosphorescent device was successfully achieved with high efficiencies (18.4 %, 36.3 cd A−1, 28.3 lm W−1) and highly stable chromaticity (CIE x=0.43–0.46 and CIE y=0.43) at an applied voltage of 8 to 12 V, and a high color-rendering index of 91.6.