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Phosphor Wheels

Evolution in Projection Technologies

The lamp illuminated projector has dominated the projector market for many years. However, more recently manufacturers have introduced advanced laser projectors and LED hybrid illuminated projectors. These projectors are playing an increasingly important role in the overall display market.

Compared to the older lamp illumination technology, laser and LED illumination is more efficient, has a longer lifetime, delivers improved color performance, and provides a lower lifetime cost-of-ownership. In addition to these advantages, laser and hybrid LED illumination projectors are environment-friendly, which is now a key requirement for most countries.

Many commercial markets, such as television and high-end entertainment lighting, are now switching to laser or hybrid illumination due to its many benefits. Some new laser illumination projection TVs have been launched that deliver a much better consumer viewing experience on a large screen. They are able to project with greater light sensitivity for an improved picture and at a reduced cost compared to comparably-sized OLED TVs.

How Laser or Hybrid Systems Function

In projection display applications, all colors are created from three basic colors – blue, red and green. For superior performance, the laser or hybrid system generally employs a series of laser diodes plus a rotating phosphor wheel. The wheel creates a green light through use of a blue laser which excites the green phosphor for greater output. This is very important because humans are most visually sensitive to green light and it is the green that contributes to the perceived brightness of the image. At the same time, the wheel’s high speed rotation (typically 7200rpm) helps with heat transport and dissipation. The systems also require very wide AOI dichroic filters to separate or combine the lights within the light path. The filters limit any light loss or color changes, thus contributing to better image projection.

Products to Enhance Display Projection

Materion’s technology experts have developed a number of products for laser or hybrid illumination systems.  Offerings include:  Gen 1 LumiWheels™, Gen 2 LumiWheels™, Wider AOI polarized dichroic filter, Diffuser ColorWheel™ and more.  These components improve projector brightness and performance while their compact design limits the amount of space taken up in the projector light path. For more information on how Materion products can improve your laser or hybrid illumination system, please contact: Vivan Zhang, Product Line Manager, at Vivian.Zhang@Materion.com