A mechanically flexible and environmentally stable organic electroluminescent ("EL") device with directional light emission comprises an organic EL member disposed on a flexible substrate, a surface of which is coated with a multilayer barrier coating which includes at least one sublayer of a substantially transparent organic polymer and at least one sublayer of a substantially transparent inorganic material. The device includes a reflective metal layer disposed on the organic EL member opposite to the substrate. The reflective metal layer provides an increased external quantum efficiency of the device. The reflective metal layer and the multilayer barrier coating form a seal around the organic EL member to reduce the degradation of the device due to environmental elements.
This invention was first conceived or reduced to practice in the performance of work under contract DE-FC26-00NT40989 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The United States of America may have certain rights to this invention.