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Title:
DISPLAY DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/063603
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A display device, comprising: a control component for electrically controlling the intensity of light transmitted therethrough from a backlight; and an optical component between said backlight and said control component configured to convert input light exhibiting at least one directional property substantially uniformly across an area at an input side of the optical component to output light exhibiting a substantial variation in said at least one directional property across a corresponding area at an output side of the optical component.

Inventors:
HARDING, James (34 Cambridge Science ParkMilton Road, Cambridge CB4 0FX, CB4 0FX, GB)
HARRISON, Charlotte (34 Cambridge Science ParkMilton Road, Cambridge CB4 0FX, CB4 0FX, GB)
Application Number:
EP2018/076102
Publication Date:
April 04, 2019
Filing Date:
September 26, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
FLEXENABLE LIMITED (34 Cambridge Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 0FX, CB4 0FX, GB)
International Classes:
F21V8/00
Foreign References:
US20100289983A12010-11-18
US20100002466A12010-01-07
JPH11345513A1999-12-14
US20090213569A12009-08-27
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
EVANS, Marc Nigel (PAGE WHITE & FARRER, Bedford HouseJohn Street, London, Greater London WC1N 2BF, WC1N 2BF, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A display device, comprising: a control component for electrically controlling the intensity of light transmitted therethrough from a backlight; and an optical component between said backlight and said control component configured to convert input light exhibiting at least one directional property substantially uniformly across an area at an input side of the optical component to output light exhibiting a substantial variation in said at least one directional property across a corresponding area at an output side of the optical component.

2. A display device according to claim 1, wherein said at least one directional property comprises the angular luminance distribution relative to the local normal.

3. A display device according to claim 1, wherein said at least one directional property comprises the centre angle of the angular luminance distribution relative to the local normal, or the angle of maximum luminance relative to the local normal.

4. A display device according to any preceding claim, further configured to convert input light exhibiting a relative low directionality substantially uniformly across said area at said input side to output light exhibiting a relatively high directionality substantially uniformly across said

corresponding area at an output side.

5. A display device according to claim 4, further configured to convert input light exhibiting a relative large full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the angular luminance distribution at said input side to output light exhibiting a relatively small full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the angular luminance distribution at said output side.

6. A display device according to claim 1, wherein at least said backlight and said control component are curved in a first region, and wherein said optical component is configured to convert input light exhibiting a substantially uniform luminance distribution relative to a local normal across an input side area corresponding to said first region to output light exhibiting a substantially uniform luminance distribution relative to a common reference direction, across a corresponding output side area corresponding to said first region.

7. A display device according to claim 1, wherein said optical component comprises microstructures defined in an output surface of a light guide, wherein the optical action of said microstructures varies across the area of said output surface.

Description:
DISPLAY DEVICE

Display devices may comprise an optical control component through which the transmission of light from a backlight can be electrically controlled. For example, the optical control component may comprise a liquid crystal cell comprising a uniform thickness of liquid crystal material between orthogonal polarisers, and e.g. electrical circuitry for controlling the molecular alignment, and thus the optical properties, of the liquid crystal material in each pixel region.

Display devices are typically flat in configuration, but the inventors for the present application have conducted work into improving the performance of non-flat displays.

There is hereby provided a display device, comprising: a control component for electrically controlling the intensity of light transmitted therethrough from a backlight; and an optical component between said backlight and said control component configured to convert input light exhibiting at least one directional property substantially uniformly across an area at an input side of the optical component to output light exhibiting a substantial variation in said at least one directional property across a corresponding area at an output side of the optical component.

According to one embodiment, said at least one directional property comprises the angular luminance distribution relative to the local normal.

According to one embodiment, said at least one directional property comprises the centre angle of the angular luminance distribution relative to the local normal, or the angle of maximum luminance relative to the local normal.

According to one embodiment, the device is further configured to convert input light exhibiting a relative low directionality substantially uniformly across said area at said input side to output light exhibiting a relatively high directionality substantially uniformly across said corresponding area at an output side.

According to one embodiment, the device is further configured to convert input light exhibiting a relative large full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the angular luminance distribution at said input side to output light exhibiting a relatively small full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the angular luminance distribution at said output side.

According to one embodiment, at least said backlight and said control component are curved in a first region, and wherein said optical component is configured to convert input light exhibiting a substantially uniform luminance distribution relative to a local normal across an input side area corresponding to said first region to output light exhibiting a substantially uniform luminance distribution relative to a common reference direction, across a corresponding output side area corresponding to said first region.

According to one embodiment, said optical component comprises microstructures defined in an output surface of a light guide, wherein the optical action of said microstructures varies across the area of said output surface.

Embodiments of the invention are described in detail hereunder, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 illustrates an example of a light guide component according to an embodiment of the present invention, in a flat configuration.

Figure 2 illustrates the light guide component of Figure 1 flexed into a curved configuration for a curved display device;

Figures 3a to 3c illustrate the output luminance distribution curve at different regions of the light guide component of Figures 1 and 2; Figure 4 illustrates the light guide component of Figures 1 and 2 combined in a curved configuration with a liquid crystal cell comprising electrical control circuitry; and

Figure 5 illustrates a directionality enhancement effect in a different embodiment.

In one example embodiment, the technique is used for an organic liquid crystal display (OLCD) device, which comprise an array of organic thin-film-transistors (OTFTs); but the technique is also applicable to other kinds of liquid crystal display devices, and other kinds of display devices that use a backlight.

The embodiment described below is for a display device comprising a sidelight-type backlight in which one or more light sources are located outside of the display area, but the present invention is also applicable to, for example, display devices comprising backlight light sources within the display area.

Also, the embodiment described below is for a display device having a relatively simple curved configuration, but the present invention is also applicable to, for example, display devices having more complex curved configurations.

A light guide plate is used in sidelight-type display devices to direct and distribute light from one or more backlight sources outside the display area to the rear surface of an optical control component (such as a liquid crystal cell) over the whole display area. The light guide plate may, for example, comprise a flexible sheet of plastic material (such as e.g. PMMA) having a substantially uniform thickness with microstructures defined in the surface adjacent to the optical control component (such as an LC cell).

Light from the one or more light sources outside the display area is directed by the light guide plate in a direction generally parallel to the plane of the light guide plate, and the microstructures defined in the surface adjacent the optical control component are configured to cause a portion of the light propagated along the light guide plate to be directed out of the light guide plate towards the optical control component (e.g. LC cell).

In conventional displays, the design of the microstructures is typically uniform across the whole area of the light guide plate - the directional properties of the optical output are typically uniform across the whole area of the light guide plate.

The directional properties of the optical output may be expressed in the form of a luminance distribution curve showing the relative luminance at different angles relative to the local normal. The local normal for any region of the light guide plate is the direction perpendicular to the plane of the light guide plate at that region. For a light guide plate in a flat configuration, the local normal is the same direction across the whole area of the light guide plate. For light guide plates in other configurations (e.g. curved configurations) the direction of the local normal varies across the area of the light guide plate relative a fixed reference direction.

For a conventional display, the light guide plate exhibits substantially the same luminance distribution curve at all regions across the entire display area. The angle (relative to the local normal) at which the luminance is highest (or the centre angle in the case of a substantially symmetrical luminance distribution curve) is substantially the same at all regions across the entire display area.

In this embodiment of the present invention, the microstructures defined in the surface of the light guide plate are intentionally designed to produce substantially different luminance distribution curves at different regions of the display area.

Figures 1 and 2 show how the direction of maximum luminance (relative to the respective local normal) may differ in one embodiment of the present invention. In Figures 1 and 2, the arrows 4 within the light guide plate 2 show the direction of the respective local normals, and the arrows 6 outside the light guide plate 2 show the direction of maximum luminance from the luminance distribution curve for the respective region of the light guide plate 2.

As shown in Figure 1, the direction of maximum luminance (relative to the respective local normal) varies across the surface of the light guide plate 2. In the example of Figure 1, the angle of maximum luminance (relative to the respective local normal) is about 0 degrees at one location B, and the angle of maximum luminance (relative to the respective local normal) is increasingly positive the further one moves away across the display area from location B in one direction, and is increasingly negative the further one moves away across the display area from location B in the opposite direction. Examples of luminance distribution curves for locations A, B and C are shown in Figures 3a, 3b and 3c, respectively. As shown in Figures 3a, 3b and 3c, the angle of maximum luminance (centre angle of the luminance distribution) is different for each of locations A, B and C relative to the respective local normal (angle 0 on the x-axis).

The change in the angle of maximum luminance across the surface of the light guide plate 2 is such that when the light guide plate is flexed into a curved configuration as shown in Figure 2, the direction of maximum luminance (relative to a fixed reference direction such as the local normal at location B) is substantially the same across the whole area of the light guide plate 2 (or at least across the whole display area in the product display device comprising the light guide plate 2 and the optical control component 8 (e.g. LC cell)).

Figure 4 shows the light guide plate 2 combined in the curved configuration with an LC cell 8 (as one example of an optical control component) and a light source 10 configured to couple light into the light guide plate 2 via a side edge of the light guide plate 2. The LC cell 8 comprises (a) a uniform thickness of LC material between two orthogonal polarisers and (b) active matrix circuitry for independently electrically controlling the transmission of the LC cell at each pixel region of the display device. The active matrix circuitry may, for example, comprise an array of organic transistor devices (such as an array of organic thin film transistor (OTFT) devices). OTFTs comprise an organic semiconductor (such as e.g. an organic polymer or small-molecule semiconductor) for the semiconductor channels.

In the embodiment described above, the microstructures defined in the surface of the light guide plate 2 are designed to achieve the desired variation in angle of maximum luminance (relative to the respective local normal) across the display area. In another embodiment, the desired variation in maximum luminance angle (relative to the respective local normal) across the display area is achieved by an additional component provided between the light guide plate 2 and the LC cell 8. The additional component may take the form of a flexible plastic film with microstructures defined in one more surfaces, which microstructures are designed to produce an optical output exhibiting the desired variation in maximum luminance angle (relative to the respective local normal) across the display area. In addition to the variation in maximum luminance angle across the display area, the additional component may also function to enhance the directionality of the output substantially uniformly across the display area. For example, for any region of the display area, the luminance distribution curve for the optical output of the additional component may exhibit a narrower (smaller) full width (FW) at the half maximum (HM) luminance value than the luminance distribution curve for the optical input of the additional component (e.g. optical output of the light guide plate). The FWHM defines the size of the range of angles at which the luminance is no less than half the maximum luminance. This directionality enhancement effect is illustrated in Figure 5, in which curve I is the optical input for the additional component, and curve II is the optical output for the additional component.

As mentioned above, an embodiment of the present invention is described above for the example of a display device having the backlight light sources outside the display area. However, in one variation, the backlight light sources are provided within the display area, and an optical component is interposed between the backlight light sources and the control component (e.g. LC cell) to achieve the desired variation in maximum luminance angle (relative to the respective local normal) across the display area.

In addition to any modifications explicitly mentioned above, it will be evident to a person skilled in the art that various other modifications of the described embodiment may be made within the scope of the invention.

The applicant hereby discloses in isolation each individual feature described herein and any combination of two or more such features, to the extent that such features or combinations are capable of being carried out based on the present specification as a whole in the light of the common general knowledge of a person skilled in the art, irrespective of whether such features or combinations of features solve any problems disclosed herein, and without limitation to the scope of the claims. The applicant indicates that aspects of the present invention may consist of any such individual feature or combination of features.