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Diffuser films for optical displays

GE Advanced Materials : 17 March, 2004  (New Product)
From TV screens and PDAs, to note PCs and cell phones, new high-performance Lexan-based films meet growing global demand.
To help meet growing worldwide demand for diffuser films, GE Advanced Materials has introduced a new global line of optical display films made from Lexan polycarbonate (PC) resin. Called Lexan Illuminex diffuser films.

The products feature excellent optical properties that are built into the film formulation and/or moulded into the film surface to deliver unprecedented levels of cost-effective quality and performance. Potential target applications include television screens, personal digital assistants (PDAs), desktop computer monitors, Note PCs, GPS navigation units, cell phones, automobile LCDs, cameras, and portable DVDs.

The excellent luminance (brightness and uniformity), image-blur, and view-angle optical performance of the highly engineered Illuminex diffuser films meet or exceed industry back light module (BLM) requirements, making them good candidates for use in LCDs. The new GE products offer a heat deflection temperature (HDT) up to 120C, excellent scratch resistance, and outstanding performance at high-temperature and high-humidity conditions.

The new films can contribute to significant yield improvements over other available products. Most competitive diffuser products are coated polyethylene terephthalate (PET) films – materials with lower scratch performance properties than the new GE products – that can fail during handling and assembly. Because of this, many LCD manufacturers have experienced yield rates as low as 75 to 80 percent. GE’s new Illuminex film technology builds in optical performance through the resin and surface technology, eliminating the need for coating.

“By incorporating this new proprietary technology into the film, we are helping our customers to achieve significant yield improvements vs. the coated products they have historically used,” said John Madej, global business leader for GE Advanced Materials’ Structured Products business. “In addition, our new technology offers superior optical performance even after prolonged exposure to UV light and temperature and humidity extremes. The films also provide exceptional anti-dust and handling performance during assembly operations. This can further reduce quality issues in the LCD units vs. coated film, which is encouraging our customers to move to the Illuminex films due to these inherent product benefits,” Madej said.

A cross-functional team from GE Advanced Materials’ Structured Products and Global Lexan Resin businesses, working closely with validation customers in Asia, used a Design-for-Six-Sigma process to create this differentiated series of high-quality diffuser films.

GE Advanced Materials sees tremendous potential growth for these materials in virtually every region of the world. “The global LCD industry is demanding new materials with performance properties that go beyond anything currently available, and we are seeing this in every region in which we operate,” said Ed Martin, GE Advanced Materials market director, Consumer Electronics, Portables & Displays. “Asia is particularly ripe for immediate growth where our new Illuminex film line can help usher in new generations of advanced electronics and other LCD applications to meet increasing consumer demand,” Martin added.

According to Robert Tatterson, GE Advanced Materials' Structured Products technology leader, 'The Illuminex diffuser films combine GE's leading-edge technologies in Lexan optical resins, clean room optical film manufacturing, and GE's expertise in optical design. Our unique technological capabilities enable us to develop products which fulfil the requirements of our customers.”
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