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Glossary: Surface; Laptop & Laptop LCD Screen Industry Definitions

Home » Resource Center » Glossary

ScreenTek is proud to provide you this glossary of common terms in the laptop LCD screen industry, and in the laptop notebook industry. Feel free to become more familiar with the terms we use throughout our site. If you notice any glaring omissions, we'd be glad to hear about those. Drop us a line at sales@screentekinc.com.

Surface Terms » 11 definitions


A technology used by LCD panels to reduce the reflection of external ambient light. Antiglare properties of this technology are produced by roughening the surface polarizer of the LCD panel. Doing so causes ambient light to be reflected from the LCD panel at different angles, minimizing the direct reflection of light. This roughening can be done mechanically, chemically, or by deposition, but chemical / deposition are most the most common (for LCD panels). In the chemical process, the glass or plastic overlay (polarizer) for the display is etched with a solvent--buffered hydrofluoric acid (HCl) for glass, or an organic solvent for plastic. This removes material in such a manner as to leave a roughened surface that is microscopically uniform. Deposition processes involve spray or dip coating the overlay with a solution; drying leaves a roughened layer behind. This often involves using a nano-particle suspension of SiO2, leaving behind a random distribution of particles when dried.

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A technology used by LCD panels to reduce the reflection of external ambient light. Displays incorporating anti-reflective technology use a coating or film that has a chemical composition with a lower refractive index closer to that of the surrounding medium (air). This process called index matching attempts to match the refractive indices of two mediums: air and the surface of the LCD screen. The closer the refractive indices of these two mediums, the less light will reflect when transitioning from one medium to another.

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(Dual Brightness Enhancement Film) A 3M product that increases LCD screen brightness. The film recycles most of the light that is normally lost in the rear polarizer.

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Double brightness enhancement film

a scratch resistance film used for liquid crystal displays, its major function is to collect the lights scattered by light guides through refraction and total internal reflection and converge the collected lights in a direction within on-axis 35 so as to increase the brightness of LCDs

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The degree to which a surface exhibits specular reflectance or the quality of image a surface reflects. It is a measure of the image forming ability of a surface. A general way to describe gloss is to say the surface looks shiny or dull. A smooth and highly polished surface will be shinier or have higher gloss. Gloss or the image forming ability of a surface is affected by 1) the material being used, 2) the surface profile (rough versus smooth) and 3) the transparency of the material. Traditional laptop LCD screens which use an anti-glare polarizer create a low gloss surface while the newer shiny laptop LCD screens which use an anti-reflective surface have a high gloss surface.

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Gloss meter

A device used to measure the gloss or image forming ability of a surface.

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Gloss units

A unit of measure of the gloss or image forming ability of a surface measured in percentage of specular reflection.

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A surfacing that covers an LCD panel which acts as a filter to help control the which direction light travels.

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Reflexive reflections

Occurs whenever the structure of the surface is such that light striking the surface is preferentially reflected back in the direction of the source.

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The act of applying a new polarizer to a screen. See polarizer

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Triacetyl cellulose film (TAC) is a layer of polarizer within an anti-reflective LCD screen.

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Glossary index


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