9-[(5-nitropyridin-2-aminoethyl) iminiomethyl]-anthracene (NAMA) was synthesized for the first time from the reaction between 9-antracene carboxaldehyde and 2-(2-aminoethylamino)-5-nitropyridine under mild reaction conditions. The structure of the nitropyridine-conjugated anthracene (NAMA) was characterized using H-1-NMR, C-13-NMR and elemental analysis techniques. Furthermore, electroluminescent behavior of the NAMA was investigated by using a material based on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). It was observed that the NAMA exhibits blue/near UV emission at 410 nm with a high density signal. The optimized device structure, ITO/CuPc/alpha-NPD/NAMA/Alq3/LiF/Al is characterized by blue/near UV electroluminescence (EL) and a high current density with 7735 cd m(-2) maximum brightness at approximately 10.4 V. The emitting color of the device showed the blue/near UV emission (x, y) = (0.14, 0.10) at 277.1 mA cm(-2) in CIE (Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage) chromaticity coordinates with a long operational lifetime (180 h). (c) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.