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A holistic approach to the mechanism study of thermal degradation of OLED materials

Journal of Physical Chemistry A ( J. Phys. Chem. A.)

The design of stable OLED materials is the key for long lifetime displays under various stressful conditions. Elucidating the degradation mechanism of the materials at the molecular level provides useful information for securing high stability. Previous works based on experiments or computations disclosed only a part of the whole degradation process. Here, we propose a holistic approach to systematic analysis of the degradation mechanism by combining experimental mass analysis and computation in a semi-automated fashion. The mass analysis identifies molecular weights of feasible products from degradation reactions. Then, the computational analysis goes through initiation, propagation, and termination phases. The initiation phase determines radical fragments and reactive sites, triggering the propagation process. In the propagation phase, we subsequently perform intermediate sampling, reaction network construction, and kinetic analysis. As a proof of concept, this approach was applied to the thermal degradation problem during the sublimation purification process. Two major pathways were successfully elucidated with full atomistic details.

J. Phys. Chem. (2020)