Chinese chemists have discovered a soluble and simple-to-make iridium complex that boosts the efficiency of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). This discovery could simplify the manufacture, and reduce the cost, of OLEDs for a wide range of future applications.

A team led by Biao Wang at Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China, has solved these problems by developing a new iridium complex that is both easy to make and highly soluble, potentially allowing it to be sprayed onto a surface.

The secret to the solubility lies in the choice of ligand: sterically-hindered phenolic groups. The researchers report that their complex, which combines iridium with three phenyl phthalazine-derived ligands, was 'unexpectedly' synthesised under mild conditions with no catalysts, simply from iridium chloride.

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