Electron-hole recombination in disordered organic semiconductors : validity of the Langevin formula

J.J.M. Holst, van der, F.W.A. Oost, van, R. Coehoorn, P.A. Bobbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)
426 Downloads (Pure)


Accurate modeling of electron-hole recombination in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) is essential for developing a complete description of their functioning. Traditionally, the recombination rate is described by the Langevin formula, with a proportionality factor equal to the sum of the electron and hole mobilities. In the disordered organic semiconductors used in OLEDs these mobilities have been shown to depend strongly on the carrier densities and on the electric field. Moreover, the energetic disorder leads to percolating pathways for the electron and hole currents, which may or may not be correlated. To answer the question whether the Langevin formula is still valid under such circumstances we perform Monte Carlo simulations of the recombination rate for Gaussian energetic disorder. We vary the disorder energy, the temperature, the densities, and mobility ratio of electrons and holes, the electric field, and the type of correlation between the electron and hole energies. We find that at zero electric field the Langevin formula is surprisingly well obeyed, provided that a change in the charge-carrier mobilities due to the presence of charge carriers of the opposite type is taken into account. Deviations from the Langevin formula at finite electric field are small at the field scale relevant for OLED modeling.
Original languageEnglish
Article number235202
Pages (from-to)235202-1/8
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Electron-hole recombination in disordered organic semiconductors : validity of the Langevin formula'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this