Polarizing films in Our Daily Lives

The word "polarizing film" is rarely heard of in our daily lives. It looks just like an ordinary plastic sheet. However, you can unexpectedly find polarizing films in many products used in various scenes of our modern lives, thus playing the role of a reliable "behind-the-scene supporter."
Here are just a few examples.

Cameras and Photos

The sky may appear clear and blue. In fact, however, the daylight is strongly polarized because it is scattered by particles in the atmosphere (Rayleigh scattering). When photographed, the blue sky may look somehow whitish, which is different from your image. Have you had such an experience?

In such cases, the use of a "polarizing filter" based on a polarizing film enables only the most beautiful, blue light out of such scattered light to be transmitted, thus capturing a photo just how it was viewed by you.

The use of a polarizing filter also makes it possible to produce a photo by cutting unnecessary light reflected on the surface of a river (or lake) or a shop window (interface reflection).

In this way, polarizing films are indispensable to take beautiful photos just as viewed by you.

Comparison of a photo taken using a polarizing filter (left) and one taken without a polarizing filter (right).

Outdoor Leisure Activities and Sports

Daylight pouring on a ski slope or a golf course contains a kind of light that increases on a cloudy, snowy, misty or hazy day. Known as "blue light" (400nm~500nm), this light blurs your visibility, making it difficult to precisely grasp the condition of the ski slope or golf hole. Goggles or sunglasses using a bare film of polarizing elements can cut this light and provide the athlete with much clearer visibility.

On a fine day, a skier may find the snow surface too glary to distinguish hillocks on the slope ahead, or a golfer may find it difficult to see conditions on the green. As a skier or a golfer you must have experienced these things more than once before. Goggles or sunglasses using a polarizing film can control such irregular reflection of light and allows only the necessary light to be transmitted. Compared with ordinary sunglasses, they can control glare and dazzle effectively and ensure a high level of visibility.

Our line-up of polarizing films for sunglasses

LCDs

As its name suggest, an LCDs has a structure in which liquid crystal (molecules) is sandwiched by polarizing film. Liquid crystal molecules are given the role of a shutter as they change direction when voltage is applied. The polarizing films then control the light that has been transmitted through liquid crystal molecules. Therefore, it is impossible to make an LCD itself without polarizing film.

As you are well aware, LCDs support our modern lives in various scenes, which in turn indispensably require polarizing film.

The Principle of LCDs

When twisted liquid crystal is sandwiched between two polarizing films with their polarization directions arranged orthogonally to each other, light that has passed through the upper polarizing film is twisted by the liquid crystal as it travels, and is allowed through to the bottom polarizing film. However, when voltage is applied, it makes the liquid crystal stand upright (vertical) and light now advances straight and cannot pass through the bottom polarizing film. In other words, ON/OFF of voltage application enables liquid crystal to serve as a shutter for light.

Suppose the figure on the right represents one picture element of the display. An LCDs can be made by arranging many such picture elements lengthwise and breadthwise and switching voltage application ON and OFF.

On the right is a magnified image of an LCDs, in which a set of red, green and blue pixels surrounded by a square represents one picture element. The part where all three colors are illuminated is displayed as white, while the part where all the three colors are not illuminated is displayed as black.

Numerous colors and hues are expressed by the degree of illumination of these three colors.

LCD Projectors

LCD projectors are one type of information equipment indispensable to our modern life – as a presentation tool for business and educational tasks and as a useful tool for the enjoyment of home theaters.

Using a powerful light source to project a small LCD panel for magnified images, LCD projectors requires greater durability under high temperature conditions than that of direct viewing LCDs.

Polatechno's polarizer components enable such bright big screens.

Polatechno's polarizing film products used as principal components of LCD projectors

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