Praseodymium(dibenzoylmethanato)3(bathophenanthroline) [Pr(DBM)3bath] was employed as an emitting and electron transport layer, and N,N′-diphenyl-N,N′-bis(3-methylphenyl)-1, 1′-biphenyl-4,4′-diamine (TPD) as a hole transport layer in organic electroluminescent (EL) devices. Bilayer device TPD/Pr(DBM)3bath and trilayer devices TPD/TPD:Pr(DBM)3bath/Pr(DBM)3bath with a different ratio of TPD to the Pr-complex were fabricated. Emission bands at 608 nm (1D2→3H6), 890 nm (1D2→3F2), 1015 nm (1D2→3F3), 1065 nm (1D2→3F4) and 1550 nm (1D2→1G4) originating from the internal f–f transitions of a Pr3+ ion were observed from EL devices using both bilayer and trilayer structures. Decreasing the ratio of TPD to the Pr-complex, the emission of the 1D2→3H6 transition was promoted and that from the exciplex suppressed, which was explained in terms of energy transfer from the ligand to the central ion. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.