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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 21 — Oct. 10, 2011
  • pp: 20079–20087
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High luminance hybrid light guide plate for backlight module application

Jui-Wen Pan and Chen-Wei Fan  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 21, pp. 20079-20087 (2011)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.19.020079


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Abstract

We introduce a hybrid backlight module, which consists of a hybrid light guide plate (HLGP) and a brightness enhancement film (BEF). The HLGP comprises functions of a conventional light guide plate, a reflector, and a BEF. The HLGP allows one-dimensional rays to be collimated. We add a BEF above the HLGP, and let the crossed-dimension rays to be collimated. Comparing with the conventional edge-lit backlight module, the optical efficiency improves to 1.3-times and the on-axis luminance improves to 3.7-times by using the hybrid backlight module.

© 2011 OSA

1. Introduction

In recent years, owing to awareness of environmental protection, liquid crystal displays (LCDs) have gradually replaced traditional cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors. Compared with CRT monitors, LCDs have the advantages of low power consumption, long life, and small size, so LCDs are widely used in miscellaneous products, such as computer monitors, cell phones, and televisions. Since the LCD is a non-spontaneous emission display device, an external light source is necessary for the display operation. For power saving, this external light sources of a LCD are light emitted diodes (LEDs) [1

1. Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co, Ltd\, “LED backlight apparatus, ” US patent 0146530 A1, Jul. 6 (2006)

,2

2. Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co, Ltd., “LED backlight device,” US patent 0127261 A1, Jun. 7 (2007).

]. The rays emitted from the LEDs propagate through a backlight module, a rear polarizer, a liquid crystal module, a color filter (CF), a front polarizer, and into human eyes sequentially. Due to energy loss resulted from absorption or interface reflection while the emitted rays penetrate the optical elements mentioned above, total energy enter the human eyes is less than 5%. Especially, the energy loss caused by the backlight module is 55% of the total energy loss [3

3. AU Optronics Corporation, Website http://www.auo.com.

,4

4. W. Zhang, H. Wang, L. Ji, and C. Liu, “Design and Simulation of the LGP Structure for LED Backlight,” Proc. SPIE 7655, 765537 (2010).

], thus reducing the energy loss of backlight module becomes an important issue for development of LCD.

There are various methods that reduce energy loss and increase on-axis luminance of a backlight module. For energy-coupling improvement between a light source and a light guide plate (LGP), a hybrid LED backlight [5

5. J. Gourlay and I. Miller, “High Efficiency Hybrid Backlight for Large-area LCD TV, Digest of Technical Paper,” J. Soc. Inf. Disp. 74, 1097–1099 (2010).

] is fabricated by the LGP with the embedded LEDs inside to reduce the energy loss. For improvement of BEFs, a new cone sheet [6

6. S. H. Baik, S.-K. Hwang, Y.-G. Kim, G.-J. Park, J.-H. Kwon, W.-T. Moon, S.-H. Kim, B.-K. Kim, and S.-H. Kang, “Simulation and Fabrication of the Cone Sheet for LCD Backlight Application,” J. Opt. Soc. Korea , Vol. 13(4), 478–483 (2009). [CrossRef]

] is designed to replace conventional crossed BEFs. For development of compound optical film, a new light extraction film [7

7. J. C. Brewer and R. J. Sudol, “Hybrid light-extraction film,” J. Soc. Inf. Disp. 17, 10.841 (2009).

] and a lenslet brightness enhancement film (LBEF) backlight module [8

8. O. Dross, W. A. Parkyn, J. Chaves, W. Falicoff, J. C. Miñano, P. Benitez, and R. Alvarez, “A superior architecture of brightness enhancement for display backlighting,” Proc. SPIE 6338, 63380G (2006). [CrossRef]

] are designed for functions of both diffuser and conventional crossed BEFs. There is also research that combines a LGP, diffusers and BEFs for shortening assembly time [9

9. M. Shinohana and S. Aoyama, “Surface light source device, elements therefor and apparatus using the same, ” US patent 6231200, Oct. 11 (1996).

]. However, those methods don’t provide significant improvement of energy loss. Generally, the improvement of energy loss is less than 75%. Those methods also increase the backlight module’s cost with new manufacture process.

In this study, we proposed a hybrid backlight module with a hybrid light guide plate (HLGP) and a BEF. The HLGP with functions of a conventional LGP, a reflector, and a BEF allowed rays to be collimated in one dimension. We added a BEF above the HLGP to let the rays be collimated in the crossed dimension. The half-luminance angle is 5 degree in horizontal direction and 17 degree and vertical direction. This hybrid backlight module was highly collimating. Compared to the conventional backlight module, the optical efficiency was increased to 1.3-times and the on-axis luminance was increased to 3.7-times under the same power consumption. Moreover, the up and the bottom surface of the HLGP have microstructures which could be fabricated by ultra-precision machining [10

10. Metal industries research & development centre. Website http://www.mirdc.org.tw/index.aspx.

], thus the production cost could also be reduced.

2. The principle of hybrid light guide plate

The hybrid light guide plate (HLGP) is shown in Fig. 1(a)
Fig. 1 (a) The schematic of the HLGP. (b) The function of the microstructures on the main layer and (c) the function of the microstructures on the reflective layer.
. In order to match total internal reflection (TIR) condition in the main layer, we designed materials’ indices of the HLGP to conform condition n1>n2 [11

11. J. Warren, Smith, Modern Optical Engineering (Mc Graw Hill, 2008), pp.128–129

]. When rays stroke microstructures on the main layer, deflection of the rays is shown in Fig. 1(b). The relationships are described as following:

α=θinθt,
(1)
α=β+θt,
(2)
β=θin2θt.
(3)

When the incidence angle βsin1(n2/n1), the rays were no more trapped in the main layer. The rays propagated through the sub-layer and were reflected by the reflective layer. According to the Snell’s law, the propagation directions of the rays could be demonstrated as follows. The ray path is shown in Fig. 1(c), and the rays kept the following equations.

n1×sin(β)=n2×sin(γ),
(4)
n2×sin(γ)=n1×sin(ε),
(5)
β=ε.
(6)

We got an angle θr for the microstructures on the reflective layer such that the rays were collimated. The microstructures on the reflective layer were coated with silver. By the reflection of the microstructures on the reflective layer, the rays were collimated. The derivations of the ray path are described by Eq. (7) and (8):

ε=2ω,
(7)
ω+θr=90o.
(8)

According to the condition the rays refracted into sub-layer, and combining the Eq. (6), (7) and (8), we got Eq. (9):

θr=90o(1/2)×sin1(n2/n1).
(9)

From the Eq. (9), we designed a corresponding angle θr to let the output rays be collimated for determined materials of the HLGP.

3. Optical design and simulation

The hybrid backlight module was constructed by LightTools [12

12. Optical Research Associates (ORA), Website http://www.opticalres.com.

]. This model had 18 LEDs (Nichia NxSW155). These LEDs were the typical planar Lambertian source. Locations of the LEDs were on the edge of main layer. Size of the HLGP was 10.1 inch (16: 9). The HLGP’s thickness, materials, and angles for the microstructures are shown in Table 1

Table 1. The Conditions of Each Layer in the HLGP Simulation.

table-icon
View This Table
| View All Tables
. The designs of the prism micro-structure are easy to fabricate by imprint process [15

15. R. E. Fischer, B. Tadic-Galeb, and P. R. Yoder, Optical System Design (Mc Graw Hill, 2008).

].

The microstructures on the main layer had the function of conventional LGP’s microstructures that could destroy the TIR of rays in LGP. We controlled the illuminance uniformity by adjusting the density of the microstructures on the main layer. After adjusting the density of the microstructures, we achieved a HLGP with good illuminance uniformity. The illuminance chart is shown in Fig. 2
Fig. 2 Illuminance chart of the HLGP whose microstructures on the main layer are adjusted for the uniformity of the illuminance.
, and uniformity of the backlight module was 80% under nine points measuring method [16

16. American National Standards Institute (ANSI), IT7.215–1992. Website http://www.ansi.org.

]. However, rays with high angle may not TIR in the light-guide, and there is hot spot on the side of the light-guide near the LED. We sacrifice the light-guide’s area of 2mm*223.6mm to get good illuminance uniformity.

The angle of microstructures on the main layer θt was designed to determine the half-luminance angle in horizontal direction. Maintaining the light field to be on-axis, as we increased the angle of microstructures on the main layer θt, the half-luminance angle in horizontal direction increased, and the on-axis luminance decreased with the expansion of the light field. The Fig. 3
Fig. 3 The relationships between θt, the half-luminance angle in horizontal direction and the normalized on-axis luminance.
shows the relationships between them.

The microstructures on the reflective layer were coated with silver [17

17. Y. Y. Chang, T. H. Lin, C. L. Fu, C. F. Lan, R. H. Tsai, H. H. Lin, and J. H. Tsai, “Highly-Collimating Backlighting Systems with Multi-stacked and Multi-layered Optical Sheets,” International Display Workshop, Dec. 1, Fukuoka, Japan (2010).

]. By designing a corresponding prism angle θr, output rays were collimated. The microstructures on the reflective layer had hybrid functions with both a conventional backlight’s reflector and a BEF.

By the description above, we understood the working function of the HLGP. The rays were collimated in horizontal direction with 5 degree at half-luminance angle. However, in the crossed dimension, there was no micro-structure to control the rays in this dimension. The half-luminance angle in vertical direction kept at 25 degree as shown in Fig. 4
Fig. 4 3D intensity chart of the HLGP.
. Thus we added a BEF [18

18. 3M Vikuiti™ Brightness Enhancement Film II data sheet. Website http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediaw ebserver?mwsId- = SSSSSu7zK1fslxtU48_Gmx2eev7qe17zHvTSevTSeSSSSSS–.

] above the HLGP. The BEF was used to collimate the rays in the vertical direction. As a result, the half-luminance angle was reduced to 17 degree. The on-axis luminance increases simultaneously.

Finally, we completed the design of the hybrid backlight module. The rays coming from the hybrid backlight module were highly collimated under the hybrid light guide plate and a BEF sheet.

4. Comparison between the Hybrid and the Conventional Backlight Module

We used the conventional backlight module as our comparing reference. The conventional backlight consists of a wedge-LGP, a reflector, a down diffuser, crossed BEF, and a top diffuser. The optical films are supported by Optical Research Associates (ORA) as shown in Table 2

Table 2. The Model Names of the Optical Film.

table-icon
View This Table
| View All Tables
. This backlight module is widely used for the laptops in the world. Fig. 5
Fig. 5 (a) 3D intensity chart of the conventional backlight module.
shows 3D intensity charts of the conventional and the hybrid backlight module. Obviously, we found that the rays were much more collimated for the hybrid backlight module.

Fig. 5 (b) 3D intensity chart of the hybrid backlight module.

We defined the optical efficiency as percentage for the flux of the backlight to the flux of the LED light source. The optical efficiency is 35.5% for the conventional backlight and 45.9% for the hybrid backlight. Comparing with the conventional edge-lit backlight module, the optical efficiency improved to 1.3 times for the hybrid backlight module as shown in Fig. 6
Fig. 6 Output flux of a hybrid backlight and a conventional backlight.
. With the increase of the output flux and the collimation of the light field, the on-axis luminance was increased substantially.

The dependence of the normalized on-axis luminance and the off-axis angle are plotted as Fig. 7
Fig. 7 The dependence of the luminance and the off-axis angle for the hybrid backlight and the conventional backlight.
. We normalized the luminance data by the on-axis luminance of the conventional backlight module. Comparing with the on-axis luminance of the conventional backlight module, the on-axis luminance of the hybrid backlight module was increased to 3.7-times. The half-luminance angle decreased from 21 degree to 17 degree in vertical direction, and decreased from 21 degree to 5 degree in horizontal direction.

For the hybrid backlight module with high efficiency and luminance, the main reason is the ray tracing of the light in the HLGP follows the principle we have proposed, Therefore, we could control the light field well in one dimension. We could effectively make the rays be collimated without much energy loss. For the conventional backlight module [22

22. Chimei Innolux Corporation, Website http://www.deaking.cn/uploadfile/N101L6-L0B.pdf.

], most rays do recycling between the two BEFs and the light-guide, so there is more energy loss coming from the absorption and the Fresnel loss.

This hybrid backlight module had high degree of collimation. Compared with the conventional backlight module, if we used the hybrid backlight module to provide the same on-axis luminance, the power consumption of the LED light sources was reduced to 27%. As a result, we significantly reduced the adoption of LED light source number. It reached the goal of cost-down, energy saving, and carbon reduction.

5. Tolerance

Considering the injection manufacture, we analyzed the tolerance for microstructures’ draft angle. Fig. 8
Fig. 8 The microstructures on the main and reflective layers with draft angle.
shows the schematic of the microstructures with draft angle on the main and reflective layer. We simulated the draft angle from 0 to 5 degree. The dependence of the draft angle θd1, θd2 and the normalized on-axis luminance is as Fig. 9
Fig. 9 The dependence of the normalized on-axis luminance and the draft angle θd1, θd2 of the microstructures.
. We found that the influence to the on-axis luminance was very small with the draft angle of microstructures on the main layer, because the microstructures on the main layer were used to destroy TIR of the rays in the HLGP’s main layer. Draft angle θd1 for the microstructures on the main layer didn’t influence the performance of the HLGP.

However, for the microstructures on the reflective layer, draft angle θd2 influenced the on-axis luminance. This was due to the rays reflected by the right side of the HLGP was going to strike the microstructures of the reflective layer as shown in Fig. 10
Fig. 10 The schematic of ray trace reflected by the right side of the HLGP.
. And then the rays were reflected by the surface A and surface B sequentially. When there were no daft angle θd2, the rays were collimated off the HLGP, and the on-axis luminance could the maximum. When there were draft angle θd2. The light field was expanded, and the on-axis luminance decreased compared to the microstructures on the reflective layer without draft angle. The data in Fig. 9 indicates that the on axis-luminance decrease 15% when the daft angle θd2 is greater than 2 degree. In general, the draft angle isn’t greater than 1 degree [15

15. R. E. Fischer, B. Tadic-Galeb, and P. R. Yoder, Optical System Design (Mc Graw Hill, 2008).

], so the tolerance in the manufacturing is acceptable.

6. Conclusion

In this paper, we propose a hybrid backlight module with a hybrid light guide and a BEF. After designing corresponding microstructures on the reflective layer, we can get a backlight module with high collimation. Compared with a conventional edge-lit backlight module, the optical efficiency improves to 1.3 times and the normalized on-axis luminance improves to 3.7 times. This hybrid backlight module can be used in products that require high brightness, such as small size laptops, tablet PC, and 3D displays module. It can also be used in the display devices that are more energy-saving and carbon reduction due to efficiency increasing 1.3 times. The hybrid backlight module has a non-symmetric light distribution. The broad light distribution in the vertical direction can be used to share displaying information with others. And the narrow light distribution in the horizontal direction can be applied for anti-peep without additional optical film. This is a breakthrough because anti-peep is achieved by adding special film above the conventional backlight module.

Acknowledgements

This study was supported from the Chimei Innolux Corporation by a grant (99-98C144). It was also supported by a project (100-2220-E-009-022) and (NSC99-2221-E-009-146) from the National Science Council, and we were in part by “Aim for the Top University Plan” of the National Chiao Tung University and Ministry of Education, Taiwan, Republic of China.

References and links

1.

Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co, Ltd\, “LED backlight apparatus, ” US patent 0146530 A1, Jul. 6 (2006)

2.

Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co, Ltd., “LED backlight device,” US patent 0127261 A1, Jun. 7 (2007).

3.

AU Optronics Corporation, Website http://www.auo.com.

4.

W. Zhang, H. Wang, L. Ji, and C. Liu, “Design and Simulation of the LGP Structure for LED Backlight,” Proc. SPIE 7655, 765537 (2010).

5.

J. Gourlay and I. Miller, “High Efficiency Hybrid Backlight for Large-area LCD TV, Digest of Technical Paper,” J. Soc. Inf. Disp. 74, 1097–1099 (2010).

6.

S. H. Baik, S.-K. Hwang, Y.-G. Kim, G.-J. Park, J.-H. Kwon, W.-T. Moon, S.-H. Kim, B.-K. Kim, and S.-H. Kang, “Simulation and Fabrication of the Cone Sheet for LCD Backlight Application,” J. Opt. Soc. Korea , Vol. 13(4), 478–483 (2009). [CrossRef]

7.

J. C. Brewer and R. J. Sudol, “Hybrid light-extraction film,” J. Soc. Inf. Disp. 17, 10.841 (2009).

8.

O. Dross, W. A. Parkyn, J. Chaves, W. Falicoff, J. C. Miñano, P. Benitez, and R. Alvarez, “A superior architecture of brightness enhancement for display backlighting,” Proc. SPIE 6338, 63380G (2006). [CrossRef]

9.

M. Shinohana and S. Aoyama, “Surface light source device, elements therefor and apparatus using the same, ” US patent 6231200, Oct. 11 (1996).

10.

Metal industries research & development centre. Website http://www.mirdc.org.tw/index.aspx.

11.

J. Warren, Smith, Modern Optical Engineering (Mc Graw Hill, 2008), pp.128–129

12.

Optical Research Associates (ORA), Website http://www.opticalres.com.

13.

J. Marvin, Weber, Handbook of Optical Materials (CRC press, 2003).

14.

L. Van der Byl, LightWave 3D 8 Texturing (Wordware Publishing Inc., 2004).

15.

R. E. Fischer, B. Tadic-Galeb, and P. R. Yoder, Optical System Design (Mc Graw Hill, 2008).

16.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI), IT7.215–1992. Website http://www.ansi.org.

17.

Y. Y. Chang, T. H. Lin, C. L. Fu, C. F. Lan, R. H. Tsai, H. H. Lin, and J. H. Tsai, “Highly-Collimating Backlighting Systems with Multi-stacked and Multi-layered Optical Sheets,” International Display Workshop, Dec. 1, Fukuoka, Japan (2010).

18.

3M Vikuiti™ Brightness Enhancement Film II data sheet. Website http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediaw ebserver?mwsId- = SSSSSu7zK1fslxtU48_Gmx2eev7qe17zHvTSevTSeSSSSSS–.

19.

3M-Vikuiti™ ESR film, Websitehttp://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediawebserver?66666UuZjcFSLXTtMxMyOXM 6EVuQEcuZgVs6EVs6E666666–

20.

KEIWA Inc, Website http://www.keiwa.co.jp/e/product/pdf_Folder/Opalus_E_200904.pdf

21.

TSUJIDEN CO, LTD. Website http://www.tsujiden.co.jp/eng/product/product_info_diffusion.html.

22.

Chimei Innolux Corporation, Website http://www.deaking.cn/uploadfile/N101L6-L0B.pdf.

OCIS Codes
(220.4000) Optical design and fabrication : Microstructure fabrication
(220.4830) Optical design and fabrication : Systems design
(230.3670) Optical devices : Light-emitting diodes
(350.3950) Other areas of optics : Micro-optics
(220.2945) Optical design and fabrication : Illumination design

ToC Category:
Optical Design and Fabrication

History
Original Manuscript: July 13, 2011
Revised Manuscript: August 27, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: August 30, 2011
Published: September 29, 2011

Citation
Jui-Wen Pan and Chen-Wei Fan, "High luminance hybrid light guide plate for backlight module application," Opt. Express 19, 20079-20087 (2011)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-19-21-20079


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References

  1. Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co, Ltd\, “LED backlight apparatus, ” US patent 0146530 A1, Jul. 6 (2006)
  2. Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co, Ltd., “LED backlight device,” US patent 0127261 A1, Jun. 7 (2007).
  3. AU Optronics Corporation, Website http://www.auo.com .
  4. W. Zhang, H. Wang, L. Ji, and C. Liu, “Design and Simulation of the LGP Structure for LED Backlight,” Proc. SPIE7655, 765537 (2010).
  5. J. Gourlay and I. Miller, “High Efficiency Hybrid Backlight for Large-area LCD TV, Digest of Technical Paper,” J. Soc. Inf. Disp.74, 1097–1099 (2010).
  6. S. H. Baik, S.-K. Hwang, Y.-G. Kim, G.-J. Park, J.-H. Kwon, W.-T. Moon, S.-H. Kim, B.-K. Kim, and S.-H. Kang, “Simulation and Fabrication of the Cone Sheet for LCD Backlight Application,” J. Opt. Soc. Korea, Vol. 13(4), 478–483 (2009). [CrossRef]
  7. J. C. Brewer and R. J. Sudol, “Hybrid light-extraction film,” J. Soc. Inf. Disp.17, 10.841 (2009).
  8. O. Dross, W. A. Parkyn, J. Chaves, W. Falicoff, J. C. Miñano, P. Benitez, and R. Alvarez, “A superior architecture of brightness enhancement for display backlighting,” Proc. SPIE6338, 63380G (2006). [CrossRef]
  9. M. Shinohana and S. Aoyama, “Surface light source device, elements therefor and apparatus using the same, ” US patent 6231200, Oct. 11 (1996).
  10. Metal industries research & development centre. Website http://www.mirdc.org.tw/index.aspx .
  11. J. Warren, Smith, Modern Optical Engineering (Mc Graw Hill, 2008), pp.128–129
  12. Optical Research Associates (ORA), Website http://www.opticalres.com .
  13. J. Marvin, Weber, Handbook of Optical Materials (CRC press, 2003).
  14. L. Van der Byl, LightWave 3D 8 Texturing (Wordware Publishing Inc., 2004).
  15. R. E. Fischer, B. Tadic-Galeb, and P. R. Yoder, Optical System Design (Mc Graw Hill, 2008).
  16. American National Standards Institute (ANSI), IT7.215–1992. Website http://www.ansi.org .
  17. Y. Y. Chang, T. H. Lin, C. L. Fu, C. F. Lan, R. H. Tsai, H. H. Lin, and J. H. Tsai, “Highly-Collimating Backlighting Systems with Multi-stacked and Multi-layered Optical Sheets,” International Display Workshop, Dec. 1, Fukuoka, Japan (2010).
  18. 3M Vikuiti™ Brightness Enhancement Film II data sheet. Website http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediaw ebserver?mwsId- = SSSSSu7zK1fslxtU48_Gmx2eev7qe17zHvTSevTSeSSSSSS– .
  19. 3M-Vikuiti™ ESR film, Websitehttp:// multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediawebserver?66666UuZjcFSLXTtMxMyOXM 6EVuQEcuZgVs6EVs6E666666–
  20. KEIWA Inc, Website http://www.keiwa.co.jp/e/product/pdf_Folder/Opalus_E_200904.pdf
  21. TSUJIDEN CO, LTD. Website http://www.tsujiden.co.jp/eng/product/product_info_diffusion.html .
  22. Chimei Innolux Corporation, Website http://www.deaking.cn/uploadfile/N101L6-L0B.pdf .

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