We have found that organic light-emitting diode (OLED) performance was highly improved by using europium oxide (Eu2O3) as a buffer layer on indium tin oxide (ITO) in OLEDs based on tris-(8-hydroxyquinoline) aluminium (Alq3), which showed low turn-on voltage, high luminance, and high electroluminescent (EL) efficiency. The thickness of Eu2O3 generally was 0.5~1.5 nm. We investigated the effects of Eu2O3 on internal electric field distributions in the device through the analysis of current-voltage characteristics, and found that the introduction of the buffer layer balanced the internal electric field distributions in hole transport layer (HTL) and electron transport layer (ETL), which should fully explain the role of the buffer layer in improving device performance. Our investigation demonstrates that the hole injection is Fowler–Nordheim (FN)tunnelling and the electron injection is Richardson–Schottky (RS) thermionic emission, which are very significant in understanding the operational mechanism and improving the performance of OLEDs.
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