Deep-blue emitters that can harvest both singlet and triplet excited states to give high electron-to-photon conversion efficiencies are highly desired for applications in full-color displays and white lighting devices based on organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) molecules based on highly twisted donor-acceptor (D-A) configurations are promising emitting dopants for the construction of efficient deep-blue OLEDs. In this study, a simple and versatile D-A system combining acridan-based donors and pyrimidine-based acceptors has been developed as a new platform for high-efficiency deep-blue TADF emitters. The designed pre-twisted acridan-pyrimidine D-A molecules exhibit small singlet-triplet energy splitting and high photoluminescence quantum yields, functioning as efficient deep-blue TADF emitters. The OLEDs utilizing these TADF emitters display bright blue electroluminescence with external quantum efficiencies of up to 20.4%, maximum current efficiencies of 41.7 cd A-1, maximum power efficiencies of 37.2 lm W-1, and color coordinates of (0.16, 0.23). The design strategy featuring such acridan-pyrimidine D-A motifs can offer great prospects for further developing high-performance deep-blue TADF emitters and TADF-OLEDs.
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