New pyrimidine derivatives (pyr) have been synthesized using palladium-catalyzed Suzuki coupling reaction. These compounds can undergo cyclometalation with iridium trichloride to form bis-cyclometalated iridium complexes, (pyr)(2)Ir(acac) (acac = acetylacetonate; pyr = cyclometalated pyr). The substituents at the both cyclometalated phenyl ring and pyrimidine ring were found to affect both electrochemical and photophysical properties of the complexes. Computation results on these complexes are consistent with the electrochemical and photophysical data. The complexes are green-emitting with good solution quantum yields at similar to 0.30. Light-emitting devices using these complexes as dopants were fabricated, and the device performance at 100 mA/cm(2) are moderate: 9 (17 481 cd/m(2), 4.8%, 18 cd/A, 5.1 lm/W); 10 (18 704 cd/m(2), 4.9%, 18.9 cd/A, 4.7 lm/W); 13 (20 942 cd/m(2), 5.4%, 21.0 cd/A, 6.1 lm/W). (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.