Work function and valence band structure of tin-doped indium oxide thin films for OLEDs

G. M. Wu*, H. H. Lin, H. C. Lu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

21 Scopus citations


Transparent conducting ITO thin film has been widely used as anode material in OLEDs due to its good optical transparency, low electrical resistivity, ease of patterning, high work function and efficient hole injection properties. The interface between ITO and organic layer in OLED device is thus important and can influence the electrical and luminescent properties. In this report, ITO substrates were treated with 20% H3PO4 solution. The corresponding changes in crystalline morphology were studied by X-ray diffraction. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) were performed at ∼10-9 Torr to study the work function and the valence band structure of ITO substrates. It was found that work function became slightly lower after the treatment, probably caused by the formation of metal complex compounds and metal hydroxides. The binding energy of In 3d5/2 shifted from 444.6 to 445.3 eV. This shifting was referred to the formation of In-OH bonding. It would be easier to provide electron by In-OH bonding than by In-O-In or Sn-O-Sn when photons reached ITO surface. The interface between ITO and CuPc was improved through polar surface and less aggregation. In addition, the OLED devices exhibited improved performance in both external quantum efficiency and luminescence efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1371-1374
Number of pages4
Issue number12
StatePublished - 08 08 2008


  • ITO
  • OLED
  • Valence band structure
  • Work function


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