Interior rearview mirror system for a vehicle

  • US 8,400,704 B2
  • Filed: 07/23/2012
  • Issued: 03/19/2013
  • Est. Priority Date: 09/20/2002
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. An interior rearview mirror system for a vehicle, said interior rearview mirror system comprising:

  • an interior electrochromic rearview mirror assembly comprising an electrochromic reflective element;

    wherein said electrochromic reflective element comprises a front substrate and a rear substrate, said front substrate having first and second surfaces and said rear substrate having third and fourth surfaces, and wherein said front substrate and said rear substrate are arranged so that said second surface of said front substrate opposes said third surface of said rear substrate with an electrochromic medium disposed therebetween;

    wherein a mirror reflector is established at said third surface of said rear substrate and wherein said mirror reflector comprises a transflective mirror reflector that is partially transmissive to visible light and partially reflective of visible light incident thereat;

    wherein said transflective mirror reflector comprises at least three layers, and wherein said three layers comprise a metallic layer, a transparent conductive metal oxide layer and a transparent dielectric metal oxide layer;

    wherein said metallic layer is closer to said electrochromic medium than said transparent conductive metal oxide layer and said transparent dielectric metal oxide layer, and wherein said transparent conductive metal oxide layer and said transparent dielectric metal oxide layer are disposed between said metallic layer and said third surface of said rear substrate;

    wherein said at least three layers of said transflective mirror reflector are established at said third surface of said rear substrate by a vacuum deposition process comprising sputtering from multiple sputtering targets in a single vacuum deposition chamber;

    wherein, during sputtering of said metallic layer of said transflective mirror reflector, a perimeter region of said third surface of said rear substrate is masked so that said metallic layer is not sputtered onto the masked perimeter region of said third surface of said rear substrate; and

    wherein said vacuum deposition process comprises use of an ion source, and wherein said ion source comprises at least one of (i) an anode layer source, (ii) a Kaufmann source, (iii) a gridded source, (iv) a non-gridded source, (v) an RF source and (vi) a linear ion source.

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