Improved Oled Light Quality (White and Deep Blue), and Laser Light Attenuation (RFT-558)

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Invention Summary

Scientists at NDSU have developed multifunctional complexes of cationic iridium(III) and phenanthroline-based ligands, which enable very high quality white light OLEDs. White light may be produced either by combining two colors or three (i.e. combine deep blue and yellow, or deep blue with red and green). Use of blue and yellow rather than RGB could mean simpler and less expensive white OLEDs as compared with RGB-derived white. Key to generating high quality white light is the ability of the NDSU technology to produce deep blue light, which leads to higher quality white light, whether mixed with Red and Green or mixed with Yellow.  An additional value of this technology is that it can be used to attenuate high intensity light, such as from lasers.  This capability has uses in defense, e.g. to protect pilot eye-sight and optical instruments that are targeted by lasers.


  • Efficient production of deep blue (380 to 400 nm) emission as opposed to the more common light / sky blue
  • Very high quality white light for OLEDs, due in large part to the deep blue emission
  • May use either Red + Green + Blue or Yellow + Blue to produce white OLEDs, Yellow providing a simpler, smaller, and less expensive option
  • Compared with Ir(III) complexes bearing imidazole derivatives as the ligand, the new Ir(III) complexes exhibit about 2 to 3 times greater yellow emission efficiency
  • Compared with imidazole derivatives, uses less power and less material for white OLEDs
  • Unlike imidazole derivatives, doesn't require special handling to avoid acidic and basic conditions for the complexes
  • Project about 2 X higher manufacturing yield than current approaches
  • Very strong reverse saturable absorption at 532 nm to mitigate nanosecond laser pulses


2-aryloxazolo[4,5-f][1,10] phenanthroline ligands were synthesized, with or without iridium(III) complexation.  The phenanthroline ligands produce deep blue fluorescence, whereas yellow phosphorescence is produced by the iridium(III) complexes. Additionally, the complexes can be used to absorb high intensity light.


This technology is patent pending and available for licensing/partnering opportunities.


Henry Nowak, Technology Manager


RFT, 558, RFT558

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