A Study on the ZnO Thin Film Deposited by RF Sputtering Method as an Electron Transport Layer in Quantum Dot Light-Emitting Diodes

Myoungsuk Kang, Jiwan Kim
2021 Korean Journal of Metals and Materials  
We report a highly efficient quantum dot light emitting diode (QLEDs) with a radio frequency (RF) sputtered ZnO thin film as an electron transport layer (ETL) instead of the conventional ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) by solution process. ZnO NPs have been used as a key material to improve the performance of QLEDs, but the charge imbalance in ZnO NPs resulting from fast electron injection, and their limited uniformity are significant disadvantages. In this study, ZnO layers were deposited by RF
more » ... ing with various O2 partial pressures. All of the ZnO films showed preferential growth along the (002) direction, smooth morphology, and good optical transmittance. To test their feasibility for QLEDs, we fabricated devices with RF sputtered ZnO layers as an ETL, which has the inverted structure of ITO/RF sputtered ZnO/QDs/CBP/MoO3/Al. The optical/electrical characteristics of two devices, comprised of RF sputtered ZnO and ZnO NPs, were compared with each other. QLEDs with the sputtered ZnO ETL achieved a current efficiency of 11.32 cd/A, which was higher than the 8.23 cd/A of the QLEDs with ZnO NPs ETL. Next, to find the optimum ZnO thin film for highly efficient QLEDs, deposition conditions with various O2 partial pressures were tested, and device performance was investigated. The maximum current efficiency was 13.33 cd/A when the ratio of Ar/O2 was 4:3. Additional oxygen gas reduced the O vacancies in the ZnO thin film, which resulted in a decrease in electrical conductivity, thereby improving charge balance in the emission layer of the QLEDs. As a result, we provide a way to control the ZnO ETL properties and to improve device performance by controlling O2 partial pressure.
doi:10.3365/kjmm.2021.59.10.718 fatcat:svt4kjmzhbhqlmy667byia34sy