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Using Organic Light-Emitting Electrochemical Thin-Film Devices To Teach Materials Science

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Merrimack High School, Merrimack, NH 03054
Center for Material Science & Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139
Department of Curriculum and Instruction and Department of Chemistry, University of Massachusetts–Boston, Boston, MA 02125
Cite this: J. Chem. Educ. 2004, 81, 11, 1620
Publication Date (Web):November 1, 2004
https://doi.org/10.1021/ed081p1620

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    Abstract

    Light-emitting thin films provide an excellent opportunity to learn about principles of electrochemistry, spectroscopy, microscopic structure of the solid state, basic circuits, and engineering design. There is currently strong interest in academic and industrial engineering research centering on developing organic light-emitting devices for applications in flat panel displays. In this educational module, designed for high school or introductory undergraduate courses, students learn how to make a ruthenium-based thin-film device. In the process, they learn about the solid-state electrochemistry at work in the film, as well as the electroluminescence that results when current passes through the device. Solutions containing a [Ru(bpy)3]Cl2 and polyvinyl alcohol are mixed to produce an even distribution of the ruthenium complex in a polymer matrix. Students build a small machine to spin-coat this mixture as a thin layer onto a conducting indium-tin-oxide electrode on a glass substrate. A gallium-indium eutectic is used as the second electrode. Students learn about the simple electric circuits required to operate both the spin-coater and the light-emitting device. They then follow the engineering design process in testing modifications to the original procedure to improve device performance and investigate the mechanisms involved in the electroluminescence.

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    Cited By

    This article is cited by 13 publications.

    1. Wesley C. Sanders . Fabrication of Polyvinylpyrrolidone Micro-/Nanostructures Utilizing Microcontact Printing. Journal of Chemical Education 2015, 92 (11) , 1908-1912. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jchemed.5b00099
    2. Fumiya Nemoto. Thickness and birefringence of thin films assessed by interferometry using a low-cost spectrometer. Spectroscopy Letters 2021, 54 (9) , 707-714. https://doi.org/10.1080/00387010.2021.1991382
    3. . Innovation Management. 2016, 497-532. https://doi.org/10.1201/b20043-16
    4. Kévin Ruffray, Matthieu Autillo, Xavier Le Goff, Jérôme Maynadié, Daniel Meyer. Influence of the solvent, structure and substituents of ruthenium(II) polypyridyl complexes on their electrochemical and photo-physical properties. Inorganica Chimica Acta 2016, 440 , 26-37. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ica.2015.10.018
    5. Marcin Strawski. Luminescencja. 2015https://doi.org/10.31338/uw.9788323518945.pp.75-88
    6. Ye Eun Ha, Gyeong Eun Lim, Mi Young Jo, Juyun Park, Yong-Cheol Kang, Sang-Jin Moon, Joo Hyun Kim. Enhancing the efficiency of opto-electronic devices by the cathode modification. J. Mater. Chem. C 2014, 2 (19) , 3820-3825. https://doi.org/10.1039/C3TC32430C
    7. Nikola Bednar, Goran M. Stojanovic. An Organic Electronics Laboratory Course for Graduate Students in Electrical Engineering. IEEE Transactions on Education 2013, 56 (3) , 280-286. https://doi.org/10.1109/TE.2012.2216527
    8. Amitabh Banerji, Michael W. Tausch, Ullrich Scherf. Classroom Experiments and Teaching Materials on OLEDs with Semiconducting Polymers. Educación Química 2013, 24 (1) , 17-22. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0187-893X(13)73190-2
    9. Phillip I. Cherner. Web-based Interactive Resources for Studying OLED Technology. MRS Proceedings 2013, 1532 https://doi.org/10.1557/opl.2013.435
    10. N. Bednar, G. Stojanovic. An innovative laboratory course of organic electronics. 2011, 1-4. https://doi.org/10.1109/EUROCON.2011.5929251
    11. J. L. Maldonado, G. Ramos-Ortíz, M. L. Miranda, S. Vázquez-Córdova, M. A. Meneses-Nava, O. Barbosa-García, M. Ortíz-Gutiérrez. Two examples of organic opto-electronic devices: Light emitting diodes and solar cells. American Journal of Physics 2008, 76 (12) , 1130-1136. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.2976333
    12. M. S. Miller, G. J. E. Davidson, B. J. Sahli, C. M. Mailloux, T. B. Carmichael. Fabrication of Elastomeric Wires by Selective Electroless Metallization of Poly(dimethylsiloxane). Advanced Materials 2008, 20 (1) , 59-64. https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.200702136
    13. . Materials science in secondary education. Nature Materials 2005, 105-105. https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat1314

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