We fabricate aluminum cathodes that are almost free from plasma damage by DC magnetron sputtering for organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). While sputtering is widely known to have numerous advantages over conventional evaporation for mass production of devices, it can cause serious damage to organic layers. In this report, we fabricate devices that are free from plasma damage by introducing a 1%-Li-doped electron transport layer (ETL). The difference of external electroluminescence quantum efficiency between OLEDs with the structure ITO/α-NPD/ETL/Al (where ITO is indium tin oxide and α-NPD is N,N′-di(1-naphthyl)-N,N′-diphenylbenzidine) with Al cathodes deposited by conventional evaporation or sputtering is 0.1%, and their driving voltage is identical. We find that the Li-doped ETL should be thicker than 40 nm. Analysis of the depth profile of the ETL by time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry indicates that considerable damage from sputtering extended to a depth of approximately 30 nm, suggesting that high-energy particles penetrated about 30 nm into the ETL.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Materials Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering