Luminescent Ionic Transition-Metal Complexes for Light-Emitting Electrochemical Cells

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2012 Aug 13;51(33):8178-211. doi: 10.1002/anie.201201471.


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 Ir(III) 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Electrochemical Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Ions / chemistry
  • Light*
  • Luminescence*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Organometallic Compounds / chemistry*
  • Transition Elements / chemistry*


  • Ions
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Transition Elements