DNP Commences Mass Production of Nanoimprint Technology-Driven Light Guiding Plates for Front Lights

Targets other reflective-type displays including reflective LCD, besides e-book terminals

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) has developed, and will embark upon mass production of a light guiding plate used with front lights. Front lights take nanoimprint technology used to form ultra micro-indentations on the surface of a sheet, and make the surface of e-book terminals brighter in a uniform fashion by effectively dispersing light.

DNP's light guiding plates are already used in e-book terminals that incorporate front lights, and the Company will expand business into areas such as reflective liquid crystals, which are forecast to see increased demand, as well as pursuing other reflective-type display interests.

DNP is focusing its strengths on nanoimprint technology-driven business areas. Apart from developing diffractive optical elements for infrared use to apply ultra micro-patterns to the surface of materials used in optical products, the Company is also promoting the use of nanoimprint technology in a variety of areas, including the medical and automobile related fields.

Nanoimprinting is a micro-machining processing technology that takes materials, such as resin, formed on a substrate then seals them with a mold while still soft, before hardening to produce nanometer (10-9 meter) to micro-meter (10-6 meter) level patterns in a stable manner.

[Background]

Reflective displays, such as electronic paper, reflect light from external light sources in order to make them easy to read, in much the same way as natural light brightens the surface of a real sheet of paper. Such displays have been adopted in e-book terminals, as they cause less fatigue on the eye, compared to transmissive liquid crystal displays that use backlights to brighten displays.

More people want to be able to use e-book terminals in darker locations, and it has become necessary to develop a light guiding plate capable of being employed in the front portion of the screen in order to effectively disperse front light-driven LED light. The light guiding plates for back lights are opaque themselves as their function is to disperse light evenly, but as the light guiding plates in front light-mounted terminals are positioned in the front of the display, it is not only necessary to disperse light in a uniform fashion, but also to maintain high level transparency.

In order to overcome this challenge, DNP has used nanoimprint technology to form ultra micro-patterns on the surface of light guiding plate so that it can broadly disperse light from the front light in an efficient manner and maintain higher level transparency. As a result, this light guiding plate achieves both improved visibility and brightness, and realizes uniform whiteness close to that of paper books when used for front light-mounted terminals.

[Product Features]

  • By configuring ultra micro-indentations, it has been made possible to disperse LED light in an effective manner over the entire surface of the screen, while also directing light towards the user, thereby achieving a uniformly brighter display via front light illumination.
  • As the light guiding plate maintains high level transparency as a result of ultra micro-indentation processing, it has also been possible to achieve superior visibility, such as being able to read fine text.
  • It is also possible to reduce power consumption via the effective dispersal of LED light, allowing for prolonged use with just a single recharge.

Image of a pamphlet with and without the light guiding plate for front lights on it. The portion incorporating the light guiding plate is brighter even in darker locations.

[Looking Ahead]

DNP has positioned Knowledge and Communication, Food and Healthcare, Lifestyle and Mobility, and the Environment and Energy as growth areas, and is engaged in the creation of new value. As part of those activities, the Company is promoting the development of new products employing a variety of highly functional sheets.

Recent studies have focused on the use of digital signage as an information communication technique during times of disaster. Reflective displays equipped with light guiding plates for front light terminals make it possible to achieve brighter screen displays even during power cuts or savings in disasters, and as a result are expected to see further market penetration going forward.

DNP will apply this product in front light equipped e-book terminals, and a variety of display devices that incorporate front lights, while also expanding applications to uses requiring improved display transparency, aiming for sales of 5.0 billion yen by FY 2020.

 
* Product prices, specification and service contents mentioned in this news release are current as of the date of publication. They may be changed at any time without notice.