Thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) compounds

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TADF - deep blue
TADF - deep blue

University: University of St Andrews

Sector(s): Electronics, Sensors & Photonics, Chemical, Engineering & Manufacturing, Materials

About Opportunity:

The use of TADF emitters represents a paradigm shift in emitter development wherein inexpensive small molecule organic compounds can now be used to harvest 100% of the excitons in an electroluminescent device and so obtain excellent power efficiencies. We have developed a series of deep blue TADF emitters for Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLED).

TADF allows purely organic emitters to harvest the triplet states as an alternative to the existing heavy-metal based phosphorescent OLEDs, which are known to be expensive and environmentally hostile. The emitters contain both carbazole donors and oxadiazole acceptors to effectively form excitons by a charge trapping mechanism. The blue colour emission wavelength of these emitters can be a valuable asset as there is currently a dearth of bright blue-emitting phosphorescent emitters for OLEDs.

The invention is primarily used for blue-emitting OLEDs or, when operating in parallel with green and red emitters, for energy-efficient white lighting devices. Due to the nature of TADF, potential applications also include temperature or oxygen sensors.

Key Benefits:

  • Harvesting 100% of excitons via TDF for OLED devices
  • Inexpensive organic emitters
  • Environmentally more benign
  • Deep blue emission colour
  • Ambipolar characteristic


  • Blue-emitting OLEDs
  • To operate in parallel with red and green emitters for energy efficient white light devices
  • Due to the nature of TADF, potential applications also include temperature or oxygen sensors

IP Status:

Subject to UK patent application number 1507340.6 filed 29 April 2015.


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