New 3M display to bring visual enhancement to LCD devices


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3M has been working on a new display technology that allows up to 50 percent more colour than the current levels found in LCD devices. The company has now reached the final stages of scale-up for this technology dubbed Quantum Dot Enhancement Film (QDEF). 3M has joined hands with Nanosys to produce QDEF and make lighter, brighter and more energy efficient smartphones, tablets, televisions and other LCD-enabled devices.

The LCDs presently available are limited to displaying 35 percent or lesser visisble colour spectrum, which clearly indicates that viewing on an LCD display is significantly different than viewing in the real world. A wider colour gamut will make viewing more visceral, engaging and natural.

Check out the difference in colour

“One of the many advantages of the new 3M QDEF solution is the film’s ability to deliver richly-saturated colors, while minimizing power consumption – a difference you can clearly see,” said Ty Silberhorn, Vice President and General Manager, 3M Optical Systems Division. “We will have qualification material available to customers for design cycles starting late second quarter this year.”

3M’s light management technologies have helped make LCDs thinner and lighter over the years. However, the colour performance of LCDs has remained largely unchanged until now. 3M reveals that its QDEF-enabled devices will come with a wide colour gamut that will be noticeably different from other standard LCD devices. QDEF uses light emitting properties of quantum dots to create an ideal backlight for LCDs.

A quantum dot is said to be 10,000 times thinner than a human hair and capable of emitting light at precise wavelengths. Hence, it will allow display makers to create a highly-optimised backlight, producing the exact wavelengths of red, green and blue light needed by an LCD for optimal colour and energy performance. Such quantum dots are fitted inside the LCD backlight unit. In fact, the new film can simply replace the older LCD film, which means the manufacturing process doesn’t need any new equipment too.

“Improving color performance for LCDs with simple, drop-in manufacturing solutions will create a stunning new visual experience for consumers,” said Jason Hartlove, President and CEO, Nanosys, Inc. “Working together with 3M and utilizing their outstanding design and supply chain capabilities will allow our quantum dot technology to be widely deployed across all product segments, ensuring availability to all customers.”​