Luminescent ionic transition-metal complexes for light-emitting electrochemical cells

Rubén D. Costa, Enrique Ortí, Henk J. Bolink*, Filippo Monti, Gianluca Accorsi, Nicola Armaroli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

799 Citations (Scopus)


Higher efficiency in the end-use of energy requires substantial progress in lighting concepts. All the technologies under development are based on solid-state electroluminescent materials and belong to the general area of solid-state lighting (SSL). The two main technologies being developed in SSL are light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), but in recent years, light-emitting electrochemical cells (LECs) have emerged as an alternative option. The luminescent materials in LECs are either luminescent polymers together with ionic salts or ionic species, such as ionic transition-metal complexes (iTMCs). Cyclometalated complexes of IrIII are by far the most utilized class of iTMCs in LECs. Herein, we show how these complexes can be prepared and discuss their unique electronic, photophysical, and photochemical properties. Finally, the progress in the performance of iTMCs based LECs, in terms of turn-on time, stability, efficiency, and color is presented. LECtric lighting: The expansion of artificial illumination and the need for more efficient appliances is stimulating innovative lighting concepts. Light-emitting electrochemical cells (LECs) based on luminescent transition-metal complexes (see picture) stand out as promising devices for lighting panels, thanks to recent advances in their design, driving conditions, and their overall performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8178-8211
Number of pages34
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug 13
Externally publishedYes


  • copper(I) complexes
  • electroluminescence
  • iridium(III) complexes
  • light-emitting electrochemical cells
  • ruthenium(II) complexes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)


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