Abstract

Here, a novel deep blue emitter SBABz4 for use in organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) is investigated. The molecular design of the emitter enables thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF), which we examine by temperature-dependent time-resolved electroluminescence (trEL) and photoluminescence (trPL). We show that the dihedral angle between donor and acceptor strongly affects the oscillator strength of the charge transfer state alongside the singlet-triplet gap. The angular dependence of the singlet-triplet gap is calculated by time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT). A gap of 15 meV is calculated for the relaxed groundstate configuration of SBABz4 with a dihedral angle between the donor and acceptor moieties of 86 degrees. Surprisingly, an experimentally obtained energy gap of 72 +/- 5 meV can only be explained by torsion angles in the range of 70-75 degrees. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations showed that SBABz4 evaporated at high temperature acquires a distribution of torsion angles, which immediately leads to the experimentally obtained energy gap. Moreover, the emitter orientation anisotropy in a host shows an 80% ratio of horizontally oriented dipoles, which is highly desirable for efficient light outcoupling. Understanding intramolecular donor-acceptor geometry in evaporated films is crucial for OLED applications, because it affects oscillator strength and TADF efficiency.

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