OneFilm display technology from 3M combines optical functionality of three films into one

June 6, 2012
St. Paul, MN--OneFilm from 3M incorporates the functionality of three individual light management films into a single enhancement film for LCD backlights.

St. Paul, MN--The Optical Systems Division of 3M has developed its proprietary OneFilm optical film technology to incorporate the functionality of three individual light management films into a single enhancement film for liquid-crystal display (LCD) backlights. Consequently, display devices with light-emitting diode (LED) backlights such as notebook computers, LCD TVs, and digital signage can be even thinner with reduced material and associated costs. The OneFilm technology combines the three (or four) diffuser, prism, microlens, and reflective polarizer films normally present above the light guide on conventional LED-based backlights into one film.

OneFilm is compatible with existing manufacturing facilities and processes, and is simply placed in the backlight during assembly, just as current optical films are. "OneFilm marks a significant technical advance for the display supply chain, furthering 3M's ongoing quest to deliver the most efficient, cost effective backlight solutions for LCDs," noted Jim Bauman, VP and GM, 3M Optical Systems Division. "It is now possible to make LCD backlights using only one free-floating film."

From a performance standpoint, OneFilm is comparable to conventional LCD film stacks (as measured by Nits/Watts) and exceeds conventional systems in wide-angle luminance, which is critical for notebooks, LCD TVs, and LCD digital signage, and devices where shared viewing is key. The OneFilm technology is based on 3M’s Collimating Multilayer Optical Film (CMOF) technology, which collimates light without refractive structures (no prisms). As a result, for the first time, LCDs with highly integrated optics are possible with a single free-floating film.

Rather than refracting, OneFilm collimates light by reflecting higher angle light back to the recycling cavity, while providing higher transmission for light closer to normal incidence. Wide angle luminance can be significantly higher than incumbent stacks which use refractive structures. OneFilm provides a smooth, monotonic change of luminance with angle, which enables superior viewing.

OneFilm is currently in development and being evaluated for TVs, Digital Signage and Notebooks. "Emerging sustainability trends will drive demand for solutions like OneFilm, and 3M is committed to assisting its global customers in achieving their sustainability goals," Bauman concluded. The OneFilm technology debuts at SID Display Week 2012, June 5-7 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. In addition, 3M representatives will present an invited paper in the technical symposium.


About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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