New Coated Polarizers Find Applications in LCD Televisions

Having successfully put into practical application its epoch-making new polarizer ("New Polarizer") for liquid crystal display television sets (LCD-TVs) for the first time in the world, Nitto Denko Corporation will begin selling the New Polarizer supporting further enhanced image quality to various LCD panel makers as production capacity allows, the company announced today.

Leveraging its unique feature of having the compensation layer in the form of direct coating -- rather than laminated film -- on the surface, the New Polarizer offers outstanding performance such as high contrast, wide viewing angle and high surface hardness. Because it is a state-of-the-art optical film enabling further image quality improvement in LCD-TVs, the New Polarizer is expected to contribute significantly to a further rapid popularization of LCD-TVs from now on.

Nitto Denko is a leading Japanese diversified manufacturer of electronics as well as industrial materials & parts and other functional materials. In the opticals field, the company is engaged in the manufacture and sale of various types of optical films for LCDs, such as polarizers, retardation film- and brightness enhancement film-laminated polarizers, for which the company currently holds the top share (ca. 55%) in the world.

Background

Moving constantly on an expansion track, the market demand for LCD-TVs broke through the 20 million-unit level in 2005, and is expected to closely approach the 100 million mark by 2008. The mainstream TV screen size, too, is expected to expand to the 40-in., then on to 50-in. range, from the current 30-in. range.

Given such increasing trends of market demand and screen size, the makers of various parts for LCD-TVs are under strong pressure to boost capacity substantially and accommodate the screen size expansions, in addition to developing parts and materials contributing to improving the basic performance characteristics of LCD-TVs.

It was with such a backdrop that Nitto Denko developed, for the first time in the world, the New Polarizer applicable to the vertical alignment mode -- the mainstream mode for LCD-TVs. The polarizer is an optical film imparted with optimal optical design achieved by forming a compensation layer on the substrate film by means of Nitto Denko’s own precision thin-layer coating technology. Compared to conventional polarizers laminated with compensation film, the New Polarizer offers enhanced contrast level which is one of LCD-TV’s basic performance characteristics, while widening the viewing angle of the screen at the same time.

Too, because LCD-TVs are usually installed in family living rooms, the optical films used are required to be resistant to scratches and other types of surface scarring caused by children and pets. By taking advantage of its own new film surface treatment technology, Nitto Denko has succeeded in raising the surface hardness (pencil hardness) to 4-5H, from the conventional 2-3H, while at the same time achieving high contrast and high display visibility under actual use conditions.

Performance Characteristics of New Polarizer

  1. Enhanced Frontal-view Contrast
    New Polarizer drastically enhances display visibility and maintains high contrast (clear distinction of black and white) under actual use conditions. (Frontal-view contrast is about 50% higher as compared to Nitto Denko’s conventional polarizers)
  2. Wider Viewing Angle
    New Polarizer widens the viewing angle while suppressing the color shift phenomenon at the same time, thereby keeping the image quality the same whether the TV is viewed directly from the front or at an angle side, so that viewing of the TV by many people is possible without any problem.
  3. Improved Surface Hardness
    Nitto Denko’s own surface treatment technology has improved the pencil hardenss of 2-3H to 4-5H as compared to the company’s conventional polarizers. (This treatment now makes it possible to prevent scratching and scarring of LC screen under normal daily life conditions. )

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