Coatable Polarizers for Flexible & Folding Display Applications

Light Polymers has used our proprietary lyotropic liquid crystal technology to create a Direct-Coatable Circular Polarizer for Foldable OLED displays. Other display applications include Curved LCD, Privacy Displays, and Micro and Mini LED.

Direct-Coatable Polarizer for Flexible OLED

Borderless displays with an edge-to-edge screen, one of the major advances in Apple’s iPhone X and Xs, use what is called a “Flexible OLED Display,” as it can wrap around the edge of the smartphone, and it is widely used in Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone offering as well. Flexible display components were just the first step on the path to fully foldable displays. Light Polymers is now perfecting the foldable version of this circular polarizer that is thinner than any current competitive offerings. This technology pushed the industry one step closer to making the foldable displays being introduced today. Light Polymers’ thin and durable coatable polarizer for foldable OLED Mobile devices is expected to be introduced in October 2019. 

When testing films for Flexible or Folding OLED displays, the film must meet the static bending test with no deformation. Directly coating our polarizer on PI cover film or retarder film solves the deformation issues that PVA based polarizer films experience after the bending test. Light Polymers’ Grey Polarizer sample has passed initial bend tests and meets the minimum contrast ratio after successfully being directly coated onto customer’s compensation film.

Direct Advantages of a Direct-Coatable Circular Polarizer

  • Current traditional PVA-based polarizers are not fit for the next generation of foldable/flexible displays. They are:
    • Too thick (latest non-commercial technology is 12 µm thick)
    • Not durable (does not meet the folding requirement of 200,000 folds at 1.5 mm bend radius)
    • Cost-prohibitive (based on non-value added films and a complicated manufacturing process)

Direct-Coating allows Light Polymers’ Circular Polarizer to be thinner than 0.8 µm.

Our proprietary water-based chemistry is more durable, eliminating fragile plastic substrates.

Light Polymers’ Direct-Coatable Film costs $10 sq./meter while current polarizer films can cost up to $70 sq./meter.

Our Direct-Coatable Circular Polarizer film meets the folding requirement of 200,000 folds at 1.5 mm bend radius.

Circular polarizers used today are made of two films: a standard linear polarizer and a “1⁄4 wave plate” compensation film with reverse dispersion of retardation properties. Light Polymers’ patented films are more durable during fold tests due to proprietary water-based chemistry and the elimination of fragile plastic substrates. Polarizers developed by Light Polymers also eliminate costly extra film components while simplifies the overall manufacturing process. Transparent, high refractive index OLED polarizer materials enable next-generation display technologies with higher light efficiency at a lower cost. Other applications for this technology include flexible and foldable OLED displays, curved LCD, and privacy displays. 

Light Polymers Application Method:
Industry-Standard Slot Die

Current Polarizer Application Method

Light Polymers’ lyotropic liquid crystal chemistry enables both the thinnest and lowest cost circular polarization solution for the OLED display market. Wide viewing angles and an easy coating process means driving down display costs while offering a product that passes the 100,000 bend test for foldable materials. Light Polymers’ proprietary nanochemistry creates a circular polarizer at 45 µm, thinner than any competitive offering. A circular polarizer is an essential part of an OLED display as the component which reduces the reflections of light off of the mirror-like surface of an OLED panel. Without the circular polarizer, an OLED panel would act just like a mirror, reflecting all of the light back and rendering the OLED display unreadable.

The future of the polarizer film market looks attractive with opportunities in the television, monitor, notebook, and cell phone markets. There is soon to be a significant demand for ultrathin or direct coated polarizers to support foldable and flexible OLEDs in the near future. The global polarizer film market is expected to reach an estimated $16 billion by 2023 and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 6.1% from 2018 to 2023. The major growth drivers for this market are increasing demand for mobile phone and television displays, increasing demand for larger panel size, and growth in demand for high-quality OLED displays in smartphones.