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Publication numberUS3900417 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 19, 1975
Filing dateJan 2, 1973
Priority dateFeb 13, 1970
Publication numberUS 3900417 A, US 3900417A, US-A-3900417, US3900417 A, US3900417A
InventorsAlvin M Marks
Original AssigneeAlvin M Marks
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for forming submicron dipole particles
US 3900417 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 11 1 Marks 1 1 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR FORMING SUBMICRON DIPOLE PARTICLES [76] Inventor: Alvin M. Marks, Whitestone, N.Y.

[22] Filed: Jan. 2, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 320,172

Related US. Application Data [60] Division of Ser. No. 11,176, Feb. 13, 1970, Pat. No. 3,709,828, and a continuation-impart of Ser. No. 378,836, June 29, 1964, Pat. No. 3,512,876.

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,918,848 7/1933 Land 350/154 2,178,996 11/1939 Land 350/154 X 2,441,019 5/1948 Georgian et a1. 260/284 X 3,341,274 9/1967 Marks 350/267 Aug. 19, 1975 5/1970 Marks 350/150 X 1/1973 Marks 252/300 OTHER PUBLlCATIONS Primary Examiner-Benjamin R. Padgett Assistant Examiner-T. S. Cron Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Philip D. Amins [57] ABSTRACT Submicron dipole particles are produced by providing at least two reactant fluids which, when mixed together in substantially stoichiometric relationship, form a dipole precipitate by controlling such variables as formation time and limiting the volume of the reacting liquid to a predetermined volume. A preferred method resides in impinging a jet stream of at least one of said reactant fluids against a jet stream of at least one other of said reactant fluids to effect a mixing of said fluids in a resultant stream over a predetermined distance at a predetermined flow rate conducive for providing by reaction dipoles having a desired average dimension.

10 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTED AUG 1 91975 SZLU 1 UP 3 OP TICAL DENSITY OFA/V HERAPA TH! TE SUSPENSION VERSUS TIME ounma RELAXATION FROM AN ALIGNED STATE AFTER VOLTAGE .swu TOFF, SHOWING me INITIAL .52 OFF AND RELAXATION 0F Cum 5 A 0 w D D 5 F? u m n u n o W9 M w o 0 z n ma M 5 m p n P o l O c H mm W A E .llE 0 w l u M w //m F I 0 B E T m m L 5 w 3 2 I 0 Q *FPWZB QQURQO FIG. I



METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR FORMING SUBMICRON DIPOLE PARTICLES RELATED COPENDING APPLICATION This application is a division of Application Ser. No. 11,176, filed Feb. 13, 1970 now U.S. Pat. No. 3,709,828, in the name of Alvin M. Marks and a continuation-in-part of parent application Ser. No. 378,836 filed June 29, 1964 U.S. Pat. No. 3,512,876, entitled Dipole Electro-Optic Structures and Method" in the name of Alvin M. Marks.

This invention relates to a method and apparatus for forming submicron dipole particles of controlled average size having particular use as suspensions in optical devices in which the optical properties of said devices are controlled by electrically or magnetically orienting or disorienting dipole particles in accordance with the optical property desired.

According to the parent application, it is known to employ a suspension of orientable dipolar particles as a light-controlling element, and to orient the particles in such a suspension by the application of an external electric or magnetic force field. Devices of this general type that were previously proposed, however, have had little use because of a number of important deficiencies. One of such prior art shortcomings was the tendency of the oriented particles to coagulate or clump together, rather than remain uniformly dispersed. Another shortcoming was that the optical properties of the devices, either in the oriented or disoriented condition, were of a low order. Thus, when such a suspension was switched from maximum transmittance to minimum transmittance, or maximum reflectance to minimum reflectance, the obtainable ratios of these transmittances, or reflectances, were too small. Moreover, clear suspensions of dipolar particles, free from light scatter, were not available. Furthermore, the response of such a system to an applied electric or magnetic force field tended to be slow. Orientation and disorientation control techniques were lacking. Consequently, prior art devices were not suitable for incorporation into most electro-optical systems. In general, the underlying physical laws governing electrodichroic systems were not well understood, and the physical parameters of such systems were relatively unknown.

According to the copending case, a light controlling device may be provided to overcome the foregoing shortcomings so long as the minute dipole particles in the suspending medium have at least one dimension of the order of 80 /2n and at least the one other dimension not exceeding A/lOn (where A is the wavelength oflight and n is the index of refraction of the suspending medium), so that when a force field is applied to the suspension, the dipole particles are oriented in the desired direction and when the force field is removed, the dipole particles become randomly oriented in a reasonably short time.

The random motion of micron-sized particles is known as Brownian motion. Brownian motion is due to random molecular impacts, which is a manifestation of thermal energy, and which is proportional to absolute temperature.

The Brownian motion randomly disorients previously oriented dipole particles, which is herein termed relaxation." Thus, relaxation is defined as the disorientation of dipoles in the absence of an aligning field of previously aligned dipole particles. Starting with dipole particles aligned normal to the plane of a layer in a state of maximum transmittance, the transmittance decreases asymptotically toward minimum transmittance in the random state.

The dipole particles found particularly useful in optical devices are herapathite dipole crystals. However, in order to obtain the required average size of such crystals so as to provide short relaxation times when the force field is removed, rather sophisticated size separation techniques have to be employed.

The Problem Confronting the Art The present herapathite dipole suspensions comprise dipoles generally having an average length of about 6,000 A in a fluid having a viscosity of 180 millipoise, which dipoles have a relaxation time 7,, of about 5,000 us. A relaxation time of less than as would be particularly desirable. However, an increase in speed of the herapathite suspension of about 36 times would be required to achieve such short relaxation times. The ideal desired length of the crystal is )t/Zn or about 1,880 A for peak visual response.

At the present time, submicron herapathite dipoles are grown from a supersaturated solution. The herapathite dipole crystals are prepared by a process in which two reactants are added together and rapidly cooled, forming a supersaturated solution which immediately crystallizes into many submicron crystals. The solution usually contains a small amount of polymer to keep the crystals separated in the suspension. With this process, the dipole crystals are generally formed with an average length of about three times the required length of 1,880 A.

The reactants form the supersaturated solution. The dipole crystals grow in a large body of fluid, their size being limited according to the population of initial nuclei, and according to the rate of cooling, exhaustion of solute, and solubility.

The variables governing the particle size are concentration, cooling rate, presence of nuclei, time, impurities and dissolved polymer. With the foregoing, crystals of various sizes are produced, most of which are above the optimum dimension. The dipole suspensions so produced have been centrifuged to select smaller dipoles with considerable success. A disadvantage is that centrifuging results in a loss of herapathite. Initially, the centrifuging results in a size range averaging about 6,000 A, much above the optimum 1,880 A, and an optimum length to width ratio of 25. On further centrifuging, the particles remaining in suspension are small broken fragments which have less than the optimum re quired length/width ratio, which results in an electrodichroic ratio which is too small, generally less than 10. Consequently, there is an optimum time and speed for centrifuging to produce the best result. Centrifuging alone is not sufficient to enable the production of the desired particle sizes.

Thus, the problem resides in providing new precipitation techniques for producing submicron dimension to as close to 1,880 A as is possible having the desired length/width ratio.

1t is thus an object of the invention to provide improved methods for producing dipole particles of the desired submicron size.

Another object is to provide various apparatus embodiments for carrying out the methods of the invention.

These and other objects will more clearly appear when taken in conjunction with the following disclosure and the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a graph showing optical density as a function of time for a herapathite suspension during relaxation from an aligned state after voltage shutoff, with particular reference to Curve A.

FIG. 2 illustrates in cross section a proportioning jet crystallizer as one apparatus embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 depicts in cross section a charged aerosol crystallizer as illustrative of another apparatus embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3A is a fragment in cross section showing how a charged aerosol is produced;

FIG. 4 is illustrative of a continuous electrophoretic centrifuge separator for separating large particles from smaller particles; and

FIG. 5 is a cross section taken along line 5-S of FIG. 4.

BROAD STATEMENT OF THE INVENTION Broadly speaking, the method aspects of the invention reside in providing at least two reactant fluids which when mixed together in substantially stoichiometric relationship, relative to the reactants present, form a dipole precipitate. The preferred mixing method resides in impinging a jet stream of at least one of said reactant fluids against a jet stream of at least one other of said reactant fluids to effect a mixing of said fluids in a resultant stream over a predetermined distance at a predetermined flow rate conducive for providing dipoles having the desired average dimension.

The reactant fluids may be solutions in which the jet stream of one reactant solution impinges upon the jet stream of another reactant solution; or the reactant fluids may be in the fonn of charged aerosols, the charged aerosol stream of one reactant solution being directed against an oppositely charged aerosol stream of another reactant solution, the size of the resultant dipole particles being less than the average size of the merged aerosol particles, depending upon the residence time of the merged streams before they fall and are collected in a reservoir in the former case; and upon the size of the charged aerosol droplets in the latter case.

The broad apparatus embodiment comprises means for storing a first reactant fluid, means for storing a second reactant fluid, a reaction chamber for receiving the reactant fluids, means for separately feeding a jet stream of each of said first and second reactant fluids to said reaction chamber in impinging relationship to each other within said chamber at predetermined flow rates over a predetermined distance after impingement as the impinged streams mix and fall to the bottom of said chamber, and means associated with said chamber for mixing and cooling the resulting fluid at the bottom of the chamber. The rapid cooling to a low temperature greatly increases the supersaturation; results in the formation of a great many nuclei of crystallization, and produces a great many small submicron crystal dipoles rather than fewer unwanted large crystals.

Before going into the detail aspects of the invention, it would be helpful at this time to discuss the variables which are considered in determining the desirable properties of dipole particles.

Relaxation time 1 of a dipole suspension is proportional to the cube of the particle length, L, the viscosity, "n, a shape factor, a,,, and also inversely proportional to the absolute temperature, UT. The shape factor a and the temperature vary very little and need not be considered in making certain estimations.

The equation for optical density versus time during relaxation from the aligned state to the random state is as follows:

D=D+(D,D) (l-e' h where:

D optical density at time t D, optical density in random state D optical density in open state with voltage V I2 optical density at time t m, V applied potential difference I time from voltage shutoff 1,, exponential relaxation time constant For the situation where t 73, equation (I reduces D 5+ (D,. D) 1 (l/e)] =0.378 15 +0632 D,

The slope, or change in optical density per unit of time (as), is:

( l( r nl l The initial slope at time t= 0, is: (dD/dt), o D, l/ a Table I was computed from Equation (1) for D, 3.0, D 0.3 and r 100 ps.

TABLE I Optical Density Versus Time Curve A in FIG. 1 is plotted from Table I. The time rate of change of optical density at t 0 is computed from (4):

(dD/dt), 0 2.7/100 0.027 optical density units/us Given: maximum slope dD/dt 0.02 OD/us the initial slope of curve A, FIG. 1.

I2, 3.0 (random) D 0.3 (open) Find: 1' the relaxation time for the specified curve A. From (4):

It is desirable in producing dipole electro-optic structures of high efficiency to increase the mobility speed of the herapathite dipole suspension by a factor of approximately 50. Such an increase in speed will provide a relaxation time constant less than 135 as.

One way to accomplish the foregoing is to decrease the length of the dipole by a factor of 3 from an average length of about 6000 A to somewhat less than 2,000 A and to decrease the fluid viscosity from a value of I millipoise to millipoise (i.e. decrease it 2 times) or less which will result in a speed increase by the follow ing factor: 3 X 2 54 times.

To accomplish the foregoing, the main problem is to decrease the particle length while retaining a length to width ratio of the dipole particle of at least 15. The production of particles of such character requires the development of new methods and apparatus for controlling the precipitation and size of the dipole particles. In this connection, the detail aspects of the invention are as follows:

DETAILS OF THE INVENTION The production of herapathite crystal suspensions is disclosed in US. Pat. No. l,9l8,848 (issued July l8, 1933) in the name of Edwin H. Land, using as reactants a solution of bisulphate of quinine and a solution of iodine. Heretofore, in the manufacture of herapathite submicron crystals, the iodine and quinine bisulphate solutions were added to a beaker submerged in acetone in dry ice and stirred with an electric stirrer. The results obtained varied greatly: sometimes very small crystals were formed; sometimes larger crystals were formed; usually a mixture of both. The variability with this method is caused by difficulty in manually controlling the variables during the mixing of the components. The control of variables during mixing is important for obtaining submicron particles of controlled size. It is probable that the crystal growth occurs in the small time interval during which the components are mixed and cooled down to the wall temperature ofthe beaker. The effect of the cooling is to slow down or stop the crystal growth. Working with bulk solutions which are then mixed together is disadvantageous because of the difficulty of controlling the variables. Thus, a means is required to effect almost instantaneous mixing, followed by a controlled small time interval to allow a specified crystal growth to occur, following which further growth is inhibited by rapid cooling.

One apparatus embodiment provided by the invention for carrying out the foregoing is shown in FIG. 2 which is illustrative of a proportioning jet crystallizer. A first vertical fluid jet 8 of reactive component quinine bisulphate solution (1) is passed through the apex of a conical fluid sheet comprising a second jet 9 of reactive component iodine solution (2). Components l) and (2) are introduced into reaction chamber or bea ker 14 in a stoichiometric ratio by metering pumps 3 and 4 actuated by the same motor 5 to provide feed streams Q and Q Electric valves 6 and 7 are externally operated to initiate the process. When the valves 6 and 7 are opened, the axial quinine bisulphate jet 8 and the conical iodine jet 9 issue from their respective orifices. Jet 8 issues from a single small circular orifice in the tube 21. The conical jet 9 issues from an annular orifice 22 within an especially shaped orifice head 23 which has a central hole 24 as shown. The hole 24 is large enough to permit jet 8 to pass through into the reaction chamber without touching orifice head 23. The height H and the pressures P and P are adjustable so as to control the time of formation of the submicron crystals. The quinine bisulphate supply system is jacketed as shown phantomly by dotted lines 21A to maintain the fluid temperature at about 40C to prevent premature crystallization. The jet mixing head 23 may also be included in the heating system if it is found desirable. Thd downwardly directed jets intersect at a predetermined point in the chamber, depending upon the height H of the mixture desired. Instantaneous mixing occurs and the growth of the submicron herapathite crystals commences. The time required for the mixture to travel the vertical distance H is t. The time 1' may be controlled by adjusting the vertical downward velocity of the two jets after mixing. This vertical velocity is controlled by the pressure applied to the jets.

The mixedjet 10 is ejected vertically downward from the mixing position 11 toward the base of reaction chamber 14 at level 12 in a time t, the chamber being sealed by a cover 14A. The submicron crystals grow during the time t. The time 1 may be varied, for example from 5 to 500 milliseconds by adjusting the mixing height H and the pressure at the noules. The wall 13 of chamber 14 is contacted by the crystallizingjet mixture. The chamber 14 is partly submerged in an acetone-dry ice fluid 19. The herapathite mixture 15 is rapidly cooled or refrigerated by contact with the wall 13 and the submicron particles stop growing. The cooling or refrigerating effect increases the supersaturation, forms a great many nuclei and many small crystals and also inhibits the growth of large crystals.

The crystal suspension forms a paste at the bottom of the beaker. The paste is continually stirred by a stirrer 16, actuated by the motor 18.

To stop the submicron particles from growing before they become too large, a fluid with a low vapor pressure is added, preferably a nonionic fluid, while the stirring is continued. Examples of such fluids are dioctylphthalate, dimethyl sebacate, diisooctyl adipate, Celluflex 23 (alkyl epoxy stearate), or other well known low vapor pressure fluids or moderate low vapor pressure fluids, such as butyl lactate, in which the dipole is insoluble and in which the protective polymer is soluble.

A device of particular utility is that shown in FIG. 3 which consists of a three-necked glass reaction chamber 25 having a bottom opening 33 connected to the chamber by means of a glass valve 32. The bottom of the flask contains low vapor fluid 34 as disclosed above, or a fluid of a somewhat greater vapor pressure, such as butyl lactate. The chamber is adapted to produce charged aerosols to be described hereinafter.

Work with charged aerosols indicates that alcohol solutions can be readily dispersed to form positive or negative charged aerosol droplets from a capillary needle supported in a gas stream and maintained at a potential with respect to a ring electrode in its vicinity, the capillary being along the axis of flow and the said axis passing through the ring electrode.

In FIG. 3, the feed chamber 1A has a gas inlet 5A maintained under pressure with nitrogen gas and a stoppered entrance neck 6A for introducing one of the reactants 3A which is a solution of iodine in an alcohol. in a similar way, feed chamber 2A contains an inlet 7A also maintained under pressure with nitrogen gas and a stoppered entrance neck 8A for introducing solution 4A which is quinine bisulfate and nitrocellulose in methanol and an ester. The bottom of feed chamber 1A has an exit neck 36 through which the capillary tube 10A communicates with fluid 3A. In a similar way, the feed chamber 2A has an exit neck 37 supplied with a stopper through which passes the capillary tube 9A. Surrounding the capillary tubes 9A and 10A are somewhat larger tubes llA and 12A which are maintained under gas pressure, being supplied with nitrogen which exits as a jet in the vicinity at the end of the capillary tubes into the main chamber area of vessel 25. Vessel 25 is provided with necks 26 and 27 into which the capillary aerosol apparatus is inserted. There are two such devices as shown in FIG. 3 which eject aerosols as a stream downward at about 45 to the vertical. The aerosol stream projected downward by the airstream through pipe 14A is a positively charged aerosol of the quinine bisulfate nitrocellulose solution in the methanol-ester solution, while the iodine solution comprises the negatively charged aerosol comprising droplets of iodine dissolved in methanol or propanol or a mixture thereof. The operation of the aerosolgenerating device is given below.

in order to produce the aerosol forming action, the gas streams are caused to flow through the tubes 11A and l2A producing ajet in the vicinity of the end of the capillary tubes and a positive voltage is applied to ring electrode 15A relative to the tip of capillary A which may, for example, be a stainless steel tube having an internal diameter of 0.2mm and which is grounded. in a similar manner, the capillary tube 14A, which is of the same diameter and material, is also grounded and the ring electrode 16A is maintained at a negative potential with respect to the end of the capillary tube 9A. The ring electrodes 15A and 16A are respectively connected to potential source 40, the center of which is grounded and the two outer terminals of which are respectively positive and negative as shown in FIG. 3.

The quantity of the aerosol in the fluid stream is controlled by the gas pressure on the tubes 5A and 7A in feed chambers 1A and 2A. The potential difference between the rings 15A and 16A and their respective capillary endings 10A and 9A is maintained at a voltage such as to cause the formation of submicron charged aerosol droplets 20A and 29, respectively.

The potential difference between the capillary tube and the rings may be maintained from 2 to 5 kilovolts just under the sparking potential to obtain minimum size particles. One method of charging aerosols is shown in the fragment of FIG. 3A in which a reactant fluid 43 is fed, through capillary 44 located coaxially within venturi 45 through which a gas 46, e.g. N is fed to produce the aerosol 46A which is negatively charged by positively charged ring electrode 47, the capillary 44 being grounded.

There is no danger of an explosive combination of alcohol vapors with the gas since nitrogen is utilized. The only precaution required is to flush the chamber thoroughly with nitrogen before applying the voltage to the ring electrodes. Referring to FIG. 3, the positively charged submicron aerosol droplets 20A in the stream are attacted to the stream of negatively charged submicron aerosol droplets 29 and coalesce in the center of the chamber forming a submicron droplet 22A which is more neutral in charge.

Since the reaction now takes place within a coalesced submicron droplet, the crystal or crystals which form within the said droplet are necessarily restricted to or less than the droplet diameter, since these crystals result from the reactants which have been mixed in a very small volume of the droplet. The crystallization is induced by the formation of a solute of decreased solubility, by causing the droplet to be cooled at a controlled rate, and by increasing solute concentration by evaporation. The cooling is induced by two factors: (1) the expansion of the nitrogen gas stream in the vicinity of the capillary endings produces a cooling effect on the gas and, therefore, on the charged aerosol particles within it; and (2) a suitable vacuum can be maintained within chamber 25 by exhausting the nitrogen gas through neck 28 and tube 28A, thus obtaining a controlled vacuum or controlled low pressure within chamber 25. Thereby, the solvents in the liquid drop surrounding the crystals evaporate, and the crystals fall into the low vapor pressure 34 at the bottom of the reaction chamber.

The suspending fluid 34 at the bottom of the container is agitated by revolving magnetic paddle 41, the revolution of the paddle 41 being induced by a revolving magnetic field from an external coil 42 in the known manner.

After the operation is complete, valve 32 is opened and chamber 25 is then subjected to pressure, thus forcing the fluid 34 out through opening 33 where it is collected in a reservoir and ready for use. if necessary, additional evaporation can be performed at this stage to remove any residual high vapor pressure solvent re maining from the coalesced droplet.

Vacuum conditions within the chamber 25 can be adjusted so that the solvent 22A of the droplet has been more or less completely evaporated away from the solute 23A before it falls into fluid 34 and is captured and suspended thereby. The fluid 34 and the suspended crystals are then free of extraneous solvent and there is no need for further evacuation of the suspension fluid 34.

The operation is continued until the viscosity of fluid 34 has risen to a sufficient high value to indicate that the percent crystalline solids within fluid 34 has reached the desired level, for example l-20%. The viscosity of fluid 34 may be determined by noting the increase in load on the revolving magnetic paddle 41 which is manifested by increased electric power drawn into the revolving magnetic field coils 42.

By using the apparatus and methods described hereinabove, it is possible to produce a substantial amount of submicron dipole particles having the desired length. However, as will be expected, a mixture of lengths will occur and the oversize can be removed by employing a continuous electrophoretic and/or centrifugal separator. Such a separator is shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 which utilizes a radial electric field applied to a suspension of particles flowing downward through a vertical tube which results in a differential radial force applied to the particles which varies with particle dimension. A separation of different particle sizes occurs radially with time. At the bottom of the tube, the fluid nearest the center of flow contains an increased proportion of larger particles. P10. 4 shows a section through an electrophoretic device for the separation of a suspension of various lengths into narrower ranges of lengths, while FIG. 5 is a section along line 55 in FIG. 4 showing the radial electrical field.

The device comprises an outer tube 51 surrounded by a cylindrical electrode 52, and having a central insulated electrode 53 on the axis of the tube. A radial electric field is produced by applying the potential difference V between electrodes 52 and 53. A dipole particle 55 (FIG. 5) within the radial field aligns along a radius and is subjected to a resultant force toward the central electrode 53. The longer and thinner dipole travels faster toward the center of the tube than the thicker and shorter dipole particles.

9 10 The axial flow of the dipole suspension in fluid 56 For complete solution warm with agitation in a hot proceeds toward the bottom of the tube where the axial water bath to about 70.

stream is split into a central axial stream which proceeds through a first exit means comprising an inner tube 57 and exit pipe 58. The outer portion of the axial 5 No. 3 flow proceeds past the central orifice into a second exit Nitrocellulose. second type RS (Solids) 25 means comprising outlet pipe 59. Thus, the suspension Isopfcpyl Alcohol 5.5 passing through in the pipe 58 contains the thinner and l f Acetate :28 longer particles, while the suspension passing through g 1 the pipe 59 contains the shorter and thlcker particles.

Centrifugal separation may be combined with the device shown by merely rotating the device upon its axis, as indicated by the arrow 60. Solutions Nos. 2 and 3 are then heated to 70C and Several of the foregoing electrophoretic devices may used to prepare No. 4.

be connected in series so that a selected stream removed from a previous device may be fed to the next succeeding device so as to further improve the separation. 4

As an example of reactant fluids for producing hera- Mamnal 50mm" %Shds pathite crystals, the following compositions are given: No 2 Quinine Bisulphme 3275 125 406 No. 3 Nitrocellulose l2.5 60.5 7.55 Preparation of Submlcron Herapathlte Crystals M han l I10 Buty To produce submicron herapathite crystals in high Acetate 14.0 concentration in a low viscosity suspending fluid, which 100") l form an optically clear, non-scattering dipole particle suspension of suitable electrodichroic ratio and sensitivity, the reacting solutions should be: This solution is then warmed to 70C and pressure 1. miscible filtered at the same temperature to remove any centers 2. at maximum concentration of crystallization. 3. at low viscosity Solutions Nos. 1 and4 are then placed in either of the 4. at low temperature apparatus of FIGS. 2 or 3 and mixed using either of the 5. mixed rapidly over a predetermined time period methods described for FIGS. 2 or 3. The resulting mix- An example follows: ture obtained in the reaction vessel is as follows:

Solution Material Solids %Solid No. l 9 pts. Iodine 105 20.0 1.8

Quinine Bisulphate 4.06 5.5 IOS No. 4 91 pts. 3.7

Nitrocellulose 7.55 6.87 N/C 1 EXAMPLE A Pans by we'ghl The reaction chamber in the meantime contains alkyl Iodine 20 epoxy stearate (Celluflex-23) immersed in an ace- Normal propanol 80 0 I00 tonedry ice bath at a temperature of about 70 C, the ro ortion bein as follows: The iodine is dissolved in the normal propanol by p p heating and shaking.

Pts. Material %Nonvolatile 'lodoquinine Sulphate 5.5 Suspended Solution No. 5 a 77 Nitrocellulose 6.87

Solution Celluflex-23 23 Celluflex-23 23.0

The No. 6 solution in the reaction chamber is then N 2 mixed with a mechanical stirrer for about 10 minutes guirgne Fisulphatu 32.5 to insure complete reaction and homogeneity. After '33; this, to remove the volatile solvents, suspension No. 6

is placed in an evacuator for about 2 hours and a paste is then obtained. which has a resistivity of at least 30 megohm-cm.

The analysis of the paste resulting from No. 6 after the volatiles have been removed will be as follows:

lodoquinine Sulphate l5.5 parts Nitrocellulose 19.5 parts Cclluflcx-23 65.0 parts 100.0 parts As a diluent for the paste there is then prepared:

Xylol 80 parts Butyl Acetate 20 parts I parts No. 7 50 parts No. 8 50 parts I00 parts A solids analysis of No. 9 is as follows:

% Concentration lodoquininc Sulphate 7.75 Nitrocellulose 9.75 The lodoquinine sulphate will contain: Iodine l.8 32.7% Ouinine Bisulphatc 3.7 62.3

No. 9 may be used directly or in the electrophoretic and/or centrifugal separator for particle size suspension to obtain a suspension of dipoles of suitable size for use in an electrodichroic system.

A herapathite suspension prepared in this manner is characterized by elongated submicron crystals of herapathite, which remain in suspension without settling and which crystals are suitable for use as dipole particle suspensions in the practice of this invention.

Chemically, herapathite is quinine trisulphate dihydroiodide tetraiodide hexahydrate, which is the chemical name for 4C H O N 3H SO. 2 H] GH O. The molecular weight is 2,464.

Stoichiometrically herapathite contains approximately 25.8% of iodine which is approximately a ratio of iodine to quinine bisulphate of one-third.

However, it has been found that the proportions can be varied from one-half through one-fourth. This is ap parently due to herapathite being a molecular com pound or a mixed crystal in which the proportion of the components may vary.

Moreover, the 1-" in the compound is present in the proportion of two moles of quinine to one of Hl. The heating of the iodine solution No. 1 usually suffices to provide sufficient H] as set forth in the above example. The presence of Hl in stoichiometric quantities is required to form a stable crystalline compound. An additional quantity of Hl may be added to achieve the molar ratio set forth.

The speed at which the jet streams are fed into the reaction chamber in producing the desired particle sizes may range from about ID to I000 cm/sec, with the merged streams maintained at a residence time of reaction from about to 10 seconds over a distance or height ranging from about 0.1 to 10 centimeters.

Herapathite dipole suspensions can form particle aggregates which can adversely affect the suspension stability of the system. lt has been observed that when herapathite dipoles are exposed to hydrogen peroxide, ozone, or other oxidizing agents, the suspension stability is improved, apparently due to charges placed on the dipole particles from free oxygen, such that long exposure to Brownian movement tends to facilitate the break-up of particle aggregates into a great number of smaller particles. In grading a suspension by centrifuging out large particles, aggregates of smaller particles are removed, which otherwise would be useful if uniformly dispersed in the suspension. It has been observed that a herapathite fluid exposed for a long time over hydrogen peroxide (e.g. two months), and which is thereafter centrifuged, results in a suspension which is two or three times more dense (more small particles of herapathite per unit volume of solution) than if allowed to stand for one day and then centrifuged. This result is apparently due to a more efficient breakup of particle aggregates remaining after a paste of the herapathite dipoles is dispersed in the fluid.

It is therefore desirable in the light of the foregoing to insure a stabilized herapathite suspension. Tests have indicated that hydrogen peroxide (H 0 and nitric acid (l-lNO among others, to be particularly useful in achieving the desired stabilization.

in one test, a small quantity of the foregoing oxidizers was separately mixed with a larger quantity of herapathite suspension. and the suspension thoroughly agitated. The excess water was allowed to separate out at the bottom. Generally, about 1 part of oxidizer by weight to 250 parts of herapathite suspension was found satisfactory. The suspension which originally had a reddish transmission color became blue-black, indicating an improvement in dispersion and the removal of free iodine from the solution by reabsorption on to the herapathite crystal.

Suspensions of this type in cells exposed optically in a window retain their stability with little or no settling, and also retain the blue-black color. After several weeks, only a very slight reddening is noted.

Among the halogens, iodine is the only one that forms compound in which the iodine is trivalent, such as by the direct oxidation of iodine with ozone, nitric acid or sulfuric acid. The salts formed by reaction with these compounds are derived from the hydroxide l(OH) The effect of electrolysis on iodine chlorides or acetates indicates that iodine can form positive ions. The organic substituted iodine compounds of the iodonium series are strong bases.

The action of ozone on solid or dissolved iodine results in the compound which the literature indicates to be an iodate of iodine. it appears as a yellowish white amorphous powder which is very hygroscopic and forms a black liquid from which iodic acid crystallizes on long standing. The powder evolves iodine slowly at 75C and decomposes rapidly by hydrolysis at C to form [(OH and H103, and when these compounds interact, iodine is formed. It is believed that what is formed is the compound l(lO Now, the oxygen may form a surface compound or permeate into the surface where it reacts with free iodine within the herapathite crystal. The electronegative oxygen thus forms a sheath or retaining wall around the crystal which prevents the iodine from escaping from the crystal into the fluid which has some slight solubility for the iodine. Apparently, when the iodine escapes into the fluid, it is immediately surrounded by oxygen atoms, and the [(lO formed may or may not be eventually incorporated into the crystal structure. The red brown color which free iodine ordinarily imparts to the fluid changes and the fluid becomes colorless by this reaction.

The presence of ionic oxygen, in the fluid may change the electric charge on the surface of the suspended herapathite crystal. Since iodine may be either negative or positive, some of the herapathite crystals may have an excess of positive charge while others may have an excess of negative charge. This will eventually cause some coagulation and settling due to the attraction of the oppositely charged particles. However, with oxygen present in excess within the fluid, the strongly electro-negative oxygen tends to coat those herapathite crystals which have an excess of positive charge. The attraction previously existing between certain herapathite crystals is thus eliminated by shifting the charge distribution from l +l to an l'+l configuration, whereupon the suspension becomes stabilized.

Thus, in the broad sense, the herapathite suspension can be stabilized by exposing the crystals to charged ions in solution. I have advantageously found that free oxygen ion-emitting compounds or agents, such as H 0 HNO ozone, benzoyl peroxide, and the like, to be particularly satisfactory in this regard, it being understood that positive ion-emitting compounds are also useful.

As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, other types of dipole particles can be produced in accordance with the invention in addition to herapathite, such as metal dipoles of silver, copper, gold, and the like, using reactant solutions in which one is a reductant relative to a solution of a metal salt.

For example, in the case of silver, a 200 c.c. ofa solution of silver nitrate (Solution A) is prepared. A 200 c.c. of 30% solution of pure ferrous sulfate is prepared and mixed with 280 c.c. of a 40% solution of sodium citrate to form Solution B. The ferrous solution is first preferably neutralized with a sodium hydroxide solution. Normally, when the silver solution A is mixed with the ferrous sulfate-sodium citrate solution B, a precipitate of a lilac shade is produced which takes on a deep blue color when the precipitate is filtered out. Solution A and Solution B may be treated in accordance with the invention either by the method of FIG. 2 or the aerosol method of FIG. 3. As will be appreciated, a low vapor fluid, e.g. a plasticizer, may be employed in the bottom of the reaction chamber as described hereinbefore in order to insure separation of the silver-containing dipoles in the solution.

In forming submicron dipole particles in accordance with the invention, it is advantageous that the two reactant fluids contain a readily evaporable fluid. After the dipole precipitate has formed by causing ajet stream of one to impinge upon the other at a predetermined flow rate, the reaction is stopped by adding a fluid having a low to moderate vapor pressure. Thereafter, the evaporable fluid is removed by vacuum evaporation.

Although the present invention has been described in conjunction with preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that modifications and variations may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as those skilled in the art will readily understand. Such modifications and variations are considered to be within the purview and scope of the invention and the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

l. A method of forming submicron particles of controlled average dimensions from dipole-forming reactants which comprises, providing at least two reactant fluids, mixing said reactant fluids together in substantially stoichiometric relationship to form a dipole precipitate by forming a jet stream of at least one of said reactants and a jet stream of at least one other of said reactants, then causing said jet streams to impinge one on the other and effect mixing thereof over a predetermined distance at a predetermined flow rate to thereby form said dipole precipitate having desirable predetermined average dimensions, wherein said fluids are both solutions which after having been mixed by impingement of said streams are collected in a reaction chamber which is refrigerated to increase the supersaturation, to thereby form a great many nuclei and many small crystals and to also inhibit the growth of large crystals of the dipole precipitate, forming said precipitate as a solution suspension, and stabilizing the suspension by exposing said dipole crystals to oxygen ions from a proportionately small quantity of a free oxygen ion emitting agent in said solution suspension.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein one of said reactant fluid solutions is quinine bisulfate and the other of said reactant fluid solutions is iodine.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the dipole suspension is stabilized by dissolving in the suspension solution said free oxygen ion-emitting agent.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein the free oxygen ion-emitting agent is selected from the group consisting of hydrogen peroxide, nitric acid, ozone and benzoyl peroxide.

5. The method of forming submicron particles of controlled average dimensions from two dipoleforming reactant fluids comprising the steps of converting a first reactant fluid of a solution of quinine bisulfate into a first charged aerosol stream of substantially submicron charged droplets of one electrical sign and converting the other said reactant fluid of a solution of iodine into a second charged aerosol stream of substan' tially submicron droplets of an opposite electrical sign, thereafter causing said oppositely charged aerosol streams to impinge one upon the other to effect the formation of coalesced less charged substantially submicron droplets of said reactant fluids, whereby the reactant solutions in each of the coalesced droplets react to form dipole particles, collecting said reacted coalesced particles and recovering the dipole particles therefrom, wherein said dipole precipitate is formed as a solution suspension, and the suspension is stabilized by exposing the dipole crystals to oxygen ions from a proportionately small quantity of a free oxygen ion emitting agent in said solution suspension.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein the dipole suspension is stabilized by dissolving in the suspension solution said free oxygen ion-emitting agent.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the free oxygen ion-emitting agent is selected from the group consisting of hydrogen peroxide, nitric acid, ozone and benzoyl peroxide.

8. A method of stabilizing a dipole precipitate of herapathite in a suspension solution which comprises exposing said herapthite dipole to oxygen ions from a 10. The method of claim 9, wherein the free oxygen iomemitting agent is selected from the group consisting of hydrogen peroxide, nitric acid, ozone and benzoyl peroxide.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4663083 *Apr 3, 1984May 5, 1987Marks Alvin MElectro-optical dipole suspension with reflective-absorptive-transmissive characteristics
US5368780 *Nov 14, 1991Nov 29, 1994Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki KaishaHeat resistant herapathite and process for producing the same
US6305833 *Aug 28, 1998Oct 23, 2001Basf AktiengesellschaftProduction of solids by precipitation
EP0551136A1 *Jan 11, 1993Jul 14, 1993Hankuk Glass Industries, Inc.Light-polarizing materials, and method for manufacturing the materials
WO2011144748A1 *May 20, 2011Nov 24, 2011Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique (Cnrs)Process for the production of a nanomaterial and reactor for implementing it
U.S. Classification252/583, 261/76, 366/172.1, 209/165, 264/11, 359/900, 252/363.5, 366/273, 546/134, 252/600, 366/325.1, 264/12, 516/922, 516/33, 516/DIG.200, 366/160.1
International ClassificationG02F1/17
Cooperative ClassificationY10S516/922, Y10S359/90, G02F1/172, Y10S516/02
European ClassificationG02F1/17A