On February 27, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple titled "Systems and Methods for Preventing Light Guide Plate Scratching Artifacts." Apple's invention details the possible use of self-healing and Teflon coatings to protect the backlight from being scratched which produces annoying artifacts on iDevice and Mac displays. Apple's gorgeous Retina Displays may soon shine even more with Apple's push to eliminate unsightly artifacts
In Apple's patent background they note that "Electronic displays commonly appear in electronic devices such as televisions, computers, and phones. LCD pixels do not produce their own light. Rather, a backlight unit lights the LCD pixels from behind. The backlight unit may include a light source, a light guide plate, and a diffuser. The light source emits light into the light guide plate, which distributes the light across the diffuser. The diffuser diffuses the light into the LCD. Since the materials that form the light guide plate and the diffuser may stick to one another, a binder material and beads may be placed between the light guide plate and the diffuser to perform an anti-wetting function. During vibration reliability testing or certain real-world use cases, however, the beads could scratch the light guide plate. When the beads scratch the light guide plate, undesirable display screen artifacts appearing as white spots may occur."
Apple's solution to this problem is found in their invention that generally relates to systems, methods, and devices for preventing scratching artifacts on a light guide plate of a backlight.
In one example, an electronic device may include a processor to generate image data and a display to display the image data. The display may include a liquid crystal display panel and a backlight unit. A light guide plate and a diffuser of the backlight may be separated at least partly by a light guide plate scratch protection component. The light guide plate scratch protection component may be a pattern of molded convex bumps on the light guide plate, a self-healing coating, a nonstick (e.g., Teflon) coating, or some combination of these surfaces.
Apple's patent FIG. 8 is a schematic view of light guide plate and the diffuser of the backlight unit, in which a nonstick (e.g., Teflon) or self-healing coating on the light guide plate prevents scratching artifacts; FIG. 9 is a flowchart of a method for manufacturing the backlight of FIG. 8.
Apple credits Eric Benson, Jun Qi and Victor Yin as the inventors of patent application 20140055717 which was filed in Q3 2013.
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