Reflective mirror assembly

  • US 8,335,032 B2
  • Filed: 12/28/2010
  • Issued: 12/18/2012
  • Est. Priority Date: 09/20/2002
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. An interior rearview mirror reflective element suitable for use in an interior rearview mirror assembly of a vehicle, said interior rearview mirror reflective element comprising:

  • a front transparent substrate and a rear transparent substrate with an electrochromic medium sandwiched therebetween;

    wherein said front substrate has a first surface and a second surface opposite said first surface, wherein said first surface generally faces a driver of a vehicle when said reflective element is incorporated in an interior rearview mirror assembly and when said interior rearview mirror assembly is normally mounted in the vehicle and the driver is normally operating the vehicle, and wherein said second surface faces said electrochromic medium;

    a transparent electrically conductive layer disposed at said second surface of said front substrate;

    wherein said rear substrate has a third surface and a fourth surface opposite said third surface, said third surface facing said electrochromic medium;

    a mirror reflector disposed at said third surface of said rear substrate, wherein said mirror reflector comprises a metallic reflective layer;

    wherein said electrochromic medium is disposed between said front substrate and said rear substrate in a cavity established inboard of a perimeter seal that connects said front substrate to said rear substrate and that spaces said front substrate apart from said rear substrate;

    wherein said front substrate has a circumferential outer edge and said rear substrate has a circumferential outer edge;

    wherein, when said front substrate is connected with said rear substrate via said perimeter seal, at least a portion of said circumferential outer edge of said rear substrate is inward of said circumferential outer edge of said front substrate and no portion of said rear substrate protrudes beyond said front substrate;

    an electrically conductive perimeter hiding band disposed at said second surface of said front substrate and around a perimeter border region of said second surface of said front substrate, wherein said perimeter hiding band comprises a metallic electrically conductive layer;

    wherein said perimeter hiding band is disposed over a portion of said transparent electrically conductive layer so that said portion of said transparent electrically conductive layer is sandwiched between at least a portion of said perimeter hiding band and said second surface of said front substrate, and wherein said perimeter hiding band is in electrically conductive contact with said transparent electrically conductive layer;

    a first electrical connection establishing electrically conductive connection to said transparent electrically conductive layer where said perimeter hiding band is disposed, wherein said first electrical connection is made at said perimeter hiding band;

    a second electrical connection establishing electrically conductive connection to said mirror reflector;

    wherein no portion of said metallic reflective layer of said mirror reflector extends outward beyond said perimeter seal;

    wherein said perimeter hiding band has a width dimension that is larger than a width dimension of said perimeter seal;

    wherein said perimeter hiding band substantially hides said perimeter seal and said first and second electrical connections from view by a driver normally operating the vehicle and viewing said reflective element when said interior rearview mirror assembly is normally mounted in the vehicle; and

    wherein said interior rearview mirror reflective element is incorporated in an interior video mirror assembly adapted for mounting to an interior portion of the vehicle, said interior video mirror assembly comprising a video display disposed to the rear of said reflective element, and wherein said video display is operable, on demand, to be viewable by a driver viewing said reflective element of said interior video mirror assembly when said interior video mirror assembly is normally mounted at the interior portion of the vehicle.

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