Patent Number: 6,166,848

Title: Electrochromic rearview mirror incorporating a third surface metal reflector and a display/signal light

Abstract: An electrochromic mirror is disclosed for use in a vehicle rearview mirror assembly having a light source positioned behind the electrochromic mirror for selectively projecting light through the mirror. The electrochromic mirror includes front and rear spaced elements each having front and rear surfaces and being sealably bonded together in a spaced-apart relationship to define a chamber, a layer of transparent conductive material disposed on the rear surface of the front element, at least one solution-phase electrochromic material contained within the chamber, and a second electrode overlying the front surface of the rear element in contact with the electrochromic material. The second electrode includes a layer of reflective material and a coating of electrically conductive material that is at least partially transmissive and is disposed over substantially all of the front surface of the rear element. The second electrode further includes a region in front of the light source that is at least partially transmissive. The electrically conductive coating may include a single transparent layer or a plurality of partially reflective and transmissive layers, or an electrically conductive dichroic coating. The light source may be an information display, such as a compass/temperature display as used in an inside rearview mirror, or may be a signal light as used in an outside rearview mirror.

Inventors: Cammenga; David J. (Zeeland, MI), Tonar; William L. (Holland, MI), Vander Zwaag; Scott W. (Holland, MI), Roberts; John K. (East Grand Rapids, MI), Bauer; Frederick T. (Holland, MI), Forgette; Jeffrey A. (Jenison, MI), Byker; Harlan J. (Holland, MI)

Assignee: Gentex Corporation

International Classification: B60R 1/12 (20060101); B60Q 1/26 (20060101); B60R 1/08 (20060101); G02F 1/01 (20060101); G02F 1/153 (20060101); G02F 1/155 (20060101); G02F 1/157 (20060101); G02F 1/15 (20060101); H01L 51/52 (20060101); H01L 51/50 (20060101); G02F 001/153 ()

Expiration Date: 12/26/2017