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Nanosys and 3M to brighten up LCDs with QDEF technology

The companies will further develop quantum dot technology for consumer displays

Nanosys and the Optical Systems Division of 3M Company are unting to provide wide colour gamut technology for consumer electronic displays, allowing Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) to display 50 percent more colour.

3M and Nanosys will work together to commercialize Nanosys’ Quantum Dot Enhancement Film (QDEF) technology.

The QDEF drop-in film's active material is composed of Nanosys’ proprietary, high efficiency quantum dot phosphors. These tiny phosphors convert blue light from a standard GaN LED into different wavelengths based upon their size.

Larger dots emit longer wavelengths (red), while smaller dots emit shorter wavelengths (green). Blending together a mix of dot colours allows the engineering of a new spectrum of light.

LCD manufacturers can integrate QDEF with existing production processes. It utilises the light emitting properties of quantum dots to create an ideal backlight for LCDs, one of the most critical factors in the colour and efficiency performance of LCDs.

“Combining the world class-technology and materials expertise of Nanosys with the engineering, design and supply chain capabilities of 3M will unlock a powerful new colour viewing experience for consumers,” says Jim Bauman, Vice President of the Optical Systems Division at 3M.

Over the years, 3M technologies have improved LCD performance. However, colour performance of LCD’s has gone largely unchanged. Current LCDs are limited to displaying 35 percent or less of the visible colour spectrum. This means the viewing experience on an LCD is vastly different than to what a person sees in the real world. Wide colour gamut displays will allow consumers to enjoy more visceral, more immersive and truer to life colour.

“We are working together to improve an area of display performance that has been largely neglected for the last decade,” adds Jason Hartlove, President and CEO of Nanosys. “Improving colour performance for LCDs with drop-in solutions will bring a stunning new visual experience to the consumer and a competitive advantage to the LCD manufacturer against new display technologies such as OLED. Working together with 3M and utilising their outstanding design and supply chain capabilities will allow our QDEF technology to be widely deployed across all product segments and will ensure availability to all customers.”

A quantum dot, which is 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, can emit light at a very precise wavelength. The ability to control the spectral output of a quantum dot allows QDEF to create an ideal white backlight specifically designed for LCDs. 

Trillions of these quantum dots are packaged into a thin film that fits inside an LCD backlight unit. QDEF replaces a similar film already found inside LCD backlights, which means that adding QDEF to manufacturing processes requires no new equipment or process changes for the LCD manufacturer.
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