Polymer Passivation Coating That Improves Performance in Organic Electronic Devices

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Franky Fat Kei So
Shuyi Liu
Hyeonggeun Yu
Managed By
Richard Croley
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
PCT Patent Application WO2017/106811

Limits Deterioration of Organic Electronic Devices from Metal Oxide Surface Defects

This polymer coating improves the efficiency of organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) or organic photovoltaic devices by creating a passivation layer that protects against corrosion. In recent years, science and industry have taken great interest in organic light emitting diodes and organic photovoltaic devices made more efficient by functional layers of metal oxides. These layers function as hole transport layers, hole injection layers, electron transport layers, electron injection layers, or dielectric insulators. These layers of metal oxides are simple and inexpensive to produce, but surface defects on the metal oxides deteriorate the overall performance of the devices incorporating the layers. Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a polymer that acts as a passivation coating, limiting the effect the surface defects have on the device’s function. With the polymer passivated metal oxide, devices show improved performance in light emitting diodes, photovoltaics, and transistors.


Polymer coating that creates passivation layer on metal-oxide surface, limiting detrimental effects of surface defects, improving efficiency


  • Able to passivate the surface defects of different metal oxides, improving performance and efficiency
  • Decreases metal oxide layer deterioration, extending life of device


Metal oxides commonly serve as functional layers in optoelectronic and electric devices. However, due to the large amount of trap states or the strong dipoles formed at the metal oxide interface, light quenching phenomena or hysteretic device performance occurs at these interfaces. This polymer coating is capable of passivating these surface defects. Layering the polymer on the metal-oxide surface triggers a chemical reaction to bind the two surfaces. The polymer’s carbonyl functional groups act as a binding agent to create a passivation layer on the metal-oxide’s surface. The application of the passivating layer to the metal-oxide surface significantly suppresses luminescence quenching and enhances efficiency in light emitting diodes, photovoltaics, and transistors. UF researchers have demonstrated this polymer coating to be effective with nickel oxide, vanadium oxide, molybdenum oxide, copper oxide, zinc oxide, tungsten oxide, titanium oxide, hafnium oxide, and aluminum oxide.