Spin-Polarized Light-Emitting Diode Based on an Organic Bipolar Spin Valve

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Science  13 Jul 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6091, pp. 204-209
DOI: 10.1126/science.1223444

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Spin-Dependent Light Emission

Spintronic devices exploit electronic currents that are spin polarized, which have an excess of one spin current over the other. One way to detect this polarization would be to create a light-emitting diode that is sensitive to spin polarization. Along these lines, Nguyen et al. (p. 204) constructed a bipolar device in which an organic semiconductor was sandwiched between two ferromagnetic contacts whose relative polarization could be controlled by an applied magnetic field. Magneto-electroluminescence of the order of ∼1% was observed at a bias voltage of ∼3.5 V. The use of a deuterated organic polymer interlayer improved spin transport relative to polymers with hydrogen side groups, and a thin LiF buffer layer on the ferromagnetic cathode improved electron injection efficiency.


The spin-polarized organic light-emitting diode (spin-OLED) has been a long-sought device within the field of organic spintronics. We designed, fabricated, and studied a spin-OLED with ferromagnetic electrodes that acts as a bipolar organic spin valve (OSV), based on a deuterated derivative of poly(phenylene-vinylene) with small hyperfine interaction. In the double-injection limit, the device shows ~1% spin valve magneto-electroluminescence (MEL) response, which follows the ferromagnetic electrode coercive fields and originates from the bipolar spin-polarized space charge–limited current. In stark contrast to the response properties of homopolar OSV devices, the MEL response in the double-injection device is practically independent of bias voltage, and its temperature dependence follows that of the ferromagnetic electrode magnetization. Our findings provide a pathway for organic displays controlled by external magnetic fields.

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