The nature of catastrophic OLED lighting panel failure

Zelong Ding, Hoyeon Kim, David Lee, Scott Stickel, Michael Boroson, John Hamer, Noel Christopher Giebink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Catastrophic failure due to electrical shorting is currently one of the key reliability challenges for commercial organic light emitting diode (OLED) solid-state lighting panels. Here, we explore the origin of panel-killing shorts through the use of a temperature-selective electroluminescence imaging technique that allows us to locate them early in their life cycle and study their growth over time. We identify two general classes of panel defect, termed bright spots and hot spots, which respectively originate from indium-tin-oxide agglomerations and microscale organic semiconductor dust particles on the substrate. The former are largely benign, whereas the latter can lead to local shunts that grow over time and cause catastrophic failure. We understand the growth process as a self-reinforcing cycle, where shunt-induced heating volatilizes the surrounding organic semiconductor, which in turn expands the shunt and leads to even more heating. Based on these results, we identify several practical strategies to arrest the growth of early-stage shorts or prevent them entirely, which could reduce the cost and improve the reliability of OLED lighting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number055501
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume125
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 7 2019

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shunts
illuminating
light emitting diodes
organic semiconductors
cycles
heating
agglomeration
imaging techniques
microbalances
electroluminescence
indium oxides
tin oxides
dust
solid state
costs
causes
defects
temperature

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Ding, Z., Kim, H., Lee, D., Stickel, S., Boroson, M., Hamer, J., & Giebink, N. C. (2019). The nature of catastrophic OLED lighting panel failure. Journal of Applied Physics, 125(5), [055501]. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5066312
Ding, Zelong ; Kim, Hoyeon ; Lee, David ; Stickel, Scott ; Boroson, Michael ; Hamer, John ; Giebink, Noel Christopher. / The nature of catastrophic OLED lighting panel failure. In: Journal of Applied Physics. 2019 ; Vol. 125, No. 5.
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Ding, Z, Kim, H, Lee, D, Stickel, S, Boroson, M, Hamer, J & Giebink, NC 2019, 'The nature of catastrophic OLED lighting panel failure', Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 125, no. 5, 055501. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5066312

The nature of catastrophic OLED lighting panel failure. / Ding, Zelong; Kim, Hoyeon; Lee, David; Stickel, Scott; Boroson, Michael; Hamer, John; Giebink, Noel Christopher.

In: Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 125, No. 5, 055501, 07.02.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Ding Z, Kim H, Lee D, Stickel S, Boroson M, Hamer J et al. The nature of catastrophic OLED lighting panel failure. Journal of Applied Physics. 2019 Feb 7;125(5). 055501. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5066312