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A novel sky-blue-emitting tripyrenylpyridine derivative, 2,4,6-tri(1-pyrenyl)pyridine (2,4,6-TPP), has been synthesized using a Suzuki coupling reaction and compared with three previously reported isomeric dipyrenylpyridine (DPP) analogues (2,4-di(1-pyrenyl)pyridine (2,4-DPP), 2,6-di(1-pyrenyl)pyridine (2,6-DPP), and 3,5-di(1-pyrenyl)pyridine (3,5-DPP)). As revealed by single-crystal X-ray analysis and computational simulations, all compounds possess highly twisted conformations in the solid state with interpyrene torsional angles of 42.3°–57.2°. These solid-state conformations and packing variations of pyrenylpyridines could be correlated to observed variations in physical characteristics such as photo/thermal stability and spectral properties, but showed only marginal influence on electrochemical properties. The novel derivative, 2,4,6-TPP, exhibited the lowest degree of crystallinity as revealed by powder X-ray diffraction analysis and formed amorphous thin films as verified using grazing-incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering. This compound also showed high thermal/photo stability relative to its disubstituted analogues (DPPs). Thus, a nondoped organic light-emitting diode (OLED) prototype was fabricated using 2,4,6-TPP as the emissive layer, which displayed a sky-blue electroluminescence with Commission Internationale de L’Eclairage (CIE) coordinates of (0.18, 0.34). This OLED prototype achieved a maximum external quantum efficiency of 6.0 ± 1.2% at 5 V. The relatively high efficiency for this simple-architecture device reflects a good balance of electron and hole transporting ability of 2,4,6-TPP along with efficient exciton formation in this material and indicates its promise as an emitting material for design of blue OLED devices.


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