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Publication numberUS2906884 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date29 Sep 1959
Filing date2 Feb 1956
Priority date2 Feb 1956
Publication numberUS 2906884 A, US 2906884A, US-A-2906884, US2906884 A, US2906884A
InventorsGill Jr Edwin R
Original AssigneeGill Jr Edwin R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Amflector system
US 2906884 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

p 1 E. R. GILL, JR 2,906,884

AMFLECTOR SYSTEM 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Feb. 2, 1956 26 I MI I T 1 lg- INVENTOR l mi BY 14m. Lqffom 4/ 4e ATTORNEY Wig. 3. M 9% f4 Sept. 29, 1959 E. R. GILL, JR 2,906,884

AMFLECTOR SYSTEM Filed Feb. 2, 1956 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR ATTORNEY showing anothermodified cireuit;

United States Patent Oflfice 2,906,884 Patented Sept. 29, 1959 2306334 AMFLECTQKSYSTEM Eawin R: Gill;- 112, Hiddenhnrst; (solemn Station, NY.

Application February-Z, 1956, Senal' N 56 3,026 ironin "(elf-250 213 This.=inventionrelates to a device -for simultaneously reflecting and amplifying the intensity er light.

- of electrons, increase the intensity of the electron beam :to obtain an amplified electron beam and transform the amplified electron beam into an amplified'light beam of increased intensity of brightness. However, the simultaneous amplification of the" light beam and the reflecting-thereof back-in the direction of its source has not been. previously proposed,-nor has this phenomenon been utilized in, practical illumination or other practical uses.

-It is an objectbf-thepre'sent invention to provide a combination light beam amplifierand reflector, herein called an amflector.

It is a furtherobject of the present invention'to pro vide an amflector which amplifies a beam 'of'light and reflects it back in the directionof its source.

Itlis 'astill further object of the resent invention-to provide an amplifier reiiector'for lightvvhich'tr'ans'forms a' beam ofllight into"a'be'a"rnof 'electro'nsfincreases the intensity "of the electron beam, transforms-the amplified electron beam into'an amplifiedilight bea'rn 'vvhich'is reflected back With further"arripli'fication"to"yield a'refiected amplified"light"bea'rn. 4

in is astilhfurthr objectbf'thepresent inventionto provide anainflector'vvhichtransformsafbeam of light into a beam of electrons, {increases theinte'nsity of the electronbearn, reflectsfthe electrons back with further amplification, and transformsftl're reflected amplified electron beam into an amplified light beam.

It is a still further obiect of"thef'present invention to provide an arnflector which mayb'euse'd'for'purposes of room illuminationutiiizing' reflected amplified light.

"It is astill 'further object of "the present invention to "'pro de'an amflector which maybe used in conjunction wi'th h ghway signs. v Othefrbbjects and the naturea'n'd-advantagesof'the instant invention 'w ill be apparent' from the following description taken "in conjunction -With the accompanying "drawings, wherein: p p

Fi'g. l -is a'diagramrnatic sectional view of the am- Figf'Ziisarliagrammatic' sectionalview of the amfiector showing a modifiedfcircnit; I

Eig. 3'Fis a diagrammatic; sectional viewof the amflector fied form of arnflector showinganother modified C11:

'iiu it; and

Fig. 8 isaperspective view-of a highway sign utilizing- In its preferred embodiments, thepresent'invention pro vides an amflector of laminated construction Which is composed of extremely thin, superimposed laminae.

The term amflector as used in this specification and claims refers to a device vvherein';light is simultaneously amplified and reflected. The amplified light itself may be reflected asin Figs. l-3, or the multiplied electrons may be reflected and then-converted to amplified light asin Figs. 57. I 4 I 7 Referring particularly to Figs. 1 3, the numeral10 refers to a transparent or translucent'larnina or layercontaining active material that fluoresces when bombarded with electrons, thereby'tran sforming the electrdrisin'to a light ray. The transparent lamina'10ma'y be inade of glass or plasticcontainingthe-fluorescent material. Such fluorescent glassesand plastics are commercially available and are described in detail in'De Ments book 'entitled Fluoroc'hemistry' (1945). An eXtremely thin electrically conductive lamina "12 'is superimposed engine transparent lariiirial't) and is s'ubjected'to a small positive potential. 'Lamina '12 maybe in the form ofa' co'nductive electron 'permeablegrid. superimposed'on the conductive grid'lamina "I2 is a'lamina I4 of'photoeniis'sive material. A ray of light indicated'bythe'arrow Rfwhi'eh impinges'on the 'transparent lai'nina 10, is transmitted through'the interstices ofthef grid and, in-turn, impinges on the photoemissi've lanii'na 14, "exciting the photoeinissive material to an extenfpropor'tional to'th'e' intensityjof the-light ray, 'sothatthe photoemissive lamina 14 "emits electrons in proportion t'o'the' intensity of theli'ght'ra'y. Such'e'mitted electrons't'end tolgravitate or accelerateto the point in the system of hig'hef'potential. T y

Superimposed on the photoemissive lamina '1'4'isfa second electrically conductive grid 16 similar to tli'egrid 12. A secondphotoernissive lamina '18 is superim ed on the 'grid'16. This;photoemissive la'rnina [8 is 'sim at m the laminai'14. A third electrically conductive grid 0, similar to grids 12 and '16, is superim osed 'o'nthe lamina 18. Superimposed on the. grid 20 is a se'corid transparent or translii eentlamina 22, similar'to'the lamina 10 described labove. This lamina 22 cojntainsactive'niaterial"the're'i'n that fluoresces when 'bo'mbarded vvith electrons, thereby transformingftheelectfons into light rays. Superimppsedon the transparent'lamina 22'is a reflecting lamina 24 which may "be'ia metal foil-or otherjsuitable light reflecting material. Theer'itirela'rhinate'is mounted I Fig. 2 shows'ja slightly modified'cii cuit for'the amflector wherein a resistance 40 is placed in the .icohduct or 30 connecting the grid tofthe ,positivefbatter ytei ininal in place "(if the Evariable; voltage nt'roller 'of Fig "1. Fig. 3 showsfanother niijdr e circuit for'thelaififle" or, wherein the conductors zsjand 'sz areyeenneqted to he positivefter'rninal of a primer batteries 41 ai1cl 42,wh eas the conductor 30,, iS- connected to the 'p'os ve -t'e'riniifal of the'battery 41. Thus, 'if thepofe' 20 is vengnie pare marina rid 16" ampleybe 25fvol'ts." u I If further amplificatidnfjof electrons the emissive lamina lsfaii'dac c'el'era'ted by -'tlie gr1d-20is desired, they ma I be" amplified asna 'rfirmner' et thus amplified many times in the reflected-beam.

3 times through the employment of additional laminated elements each similar to the laminated element comprising the laminae 18 and 20. The increasingly amplified electrons tend to gravitate or accelerate to a point of higher potential as will be described hereafter.

The Zworykin and Morton book entitled Television published by John Wiley and Sons, Inc., discusses in detail numerous fluorescent and photoemissive materials which are suitable for use, and consequently, it is not necessary to discuss such materials herein, but reference is hereby made to this book in connection with such materials.

The operation of this amflector is as follows: A ray of light R falling on the amflector will shine through the transparent face and the interstices of the grid 12 into the photoemissive layer 14. Light falling on the photoemissive material releases electrons, designated primary electrons, which leave the material with some velocity. Such emitted electrons tend to gravitate or accelerate to the point of higher potential, in this case toward the grid 28, which carries a higher potential than the grid 30. Thus, it will be seen that a portion of the light in passing through lamina 14 is transformed into an electron ray which is, in effect, reversed back through grid 12 to the upper face 10 and is therein converted into fluorescence.

As the electron is negatively charged, it is accelerated toward the higher positively charged grid 12 and acquires a high velocity and energy level. Proceeding downwardly, the remainder of the light ray R passes through the interstices of the center grid 16 and enters the layer 18 of photoemissive material. Here, the photons react with the photoemissive material and cause the emission of electrons. These electrons are now accelerated downwardly by the grid 20 charged to a positive potential higher than grid 18. As a potential difference between the grids, at least 10 volts is desirable. Assuming that the grid 16 is charged with a positive potential of /2 volts, then grid 18 can be charged to any potential above /2 volts. Assuming, for example, that grid 18 is charged to about 102 volts, the secondary electrons emitted by the photoemissive layer 18 will be accelerated to an energy level four times that of the primary electron, since there is four times as much voltage used.

Passing through the grid 20, the secondary electrons expend their kinetic energy in layer 22, causing the fluorescent material in this layer to fluoresce, becoming converted to light. The portion of the beam of fluorescent light continues downwardly in the direction of the flow of the electrons and contacts the light reflecting surface 24. This fluorescent light is reflected in the opposite direction as any other light. After reflection, the light beam proceeds upwardly, and exactly the same sequence takes place that occurred on the downward procession. In short, the fluorescent light proceeding upwardly into layer 18 causes the emission of primary electrons, which are accelerated towards grid 20 and bombard layer 22 where they cause the additional fluorescence. A portion of the light given off by the fluorescence of layer 22 is converted into electrons in layer 18 and rebounds to amplify the fluorescence of layer 22.

I The remaining portion of the light given off by layer 22 passes upwardly through layers 20, 18 and 16 into photoemissive layer 14 where again a portion of the light is converted into electrons. In turn, this greatly increased number of electrons accelerated by higher potential grid 12 pass into layer 10 where their large number and high energy cause brilliant fluorescence. This fluorescence is an amplified light beam that is projected back into space from the face of layer 10. The incident beam of light 'is In this form of amflector, it will be seen that sever transformations of energy take place: a light beam impinging on the amflector face 10 is transformed into a beam of primary electrons, which are accelerated to a higher energy and are then transformed into an amplified beam of light. The remainder of the initial light beam that was not converted into electrons and a portion of the amplified beam are then converted into electrons, which are also accelerated to a higher energy and finally transformed into an amplified beam of light of an intensity many times that of the original beam of light. Possible applications of this concept will be considered in more detail hereinafter.

In the form of the amflector shown in Figs. 5-7, the intermediate conversion of the electrons into light prior to reflection is eliminated. In the form of the invention shown in Figs. 5-7, an outer lamina 50 is provided which is a transparent or translucent face having good insulating properties and highly weather-resistant. This lamina 50 can be a sheet of glass or plastic, or it can be a film or lacquer or other resin applied by spraying, silk screen or other means.

Superimposed thereon is a lamina 52 which is a combined photoemissive and fluorescent layer containing a grid 54 therein. The grid 54 can be a copper screen or other electrically conductive lamina. In the form illustrated, a copper screen is embedded in a film of resin or varnish, which plastic carries active elements classed as luminescent and fluorescent materials. If desired, separate laminations could be used to perform the photoemissive and fluorescent functions. A great many such active materials can be used, and the selection of the photoemissive and fluorescent composition is a matter of engineering skill. Suitable fluorescent and luminescent materials are given in Zworykin and Mortons book entitled Television published by John Wiley & Sons. For example, if the incident light is ordinary daylight, the photosensitive material to receive the light and emit electrons might be caesium or rubidium in some form, perhaps in combination with silver. For the fluorescent material, an organic material might be used such as crystallized anthracene, or a dyestufi such as a combination of fluorescein and rhodamin. Inorganic materials can also be used, natural or synthetic. In case an X-ray picture is required to be amplified, an entirely different set of active materials would be selected.

Superimposed on the lamina 52 is an insulating transparent film 56 which may be a resin, shellac or other suitable dielectric material. A secondary photoemissive lamina 58 containing suitable electron emissive substances is superimposed on the film 56. The electron emissive substances in the lamina 58 act to multiply the primary electrons into secondary emitted electrons. Superimposed thereon is a thin insulating film 60, and finally a metal plate 62 is superimposed.

Laminae 58, 60 and 62 act together to form a composite element. This form of electron multiplier is sometimes called a Thin Film Field Emitter. The electron emitting material in lamina 58 may be contained in a suitable binding material, such as an insulating varnish or plastic. The insulating film 60 is as thin as it is possible to use with the voltage applied, depending upon the characteristics of the material. This film must also possess a high dielectric strength and a high dielectric constant.

As shown in Fig. 5, the grid 54 is connected to the positive terminal of a battery 64 by a conductor 66. The plate 62 is connected to the negative terminal of the battery 64 by a conductor 68. As shown in Fig. 6, the negative terminal of the battery is grounded. As shown in Fig. 7, a resistance 70 is connected between the battery 64 and the conductors 66 and 68 so that the voltage can be regulated. A contact 72 connects the conductor 66 with the resistance 70, and a contact 74 connects the conductor 68 with the resistance 70. The contacts 72 and 74 can slide to various positions along the resistance. If the contact 72 is moved to the end of the resistance, the full positive potential of the battery will be applied to the grid 54. If the contact 74 is moved to the other end of the resistance, the full negative potential of the battery will be applied to the plate 62. Thus, the relative potential of grid 54 and plate 62 can be varied, one as against the other, but the actual voltage to each one can also be regulated.

The form of the invention shown in Fig. 6, wherein the negative pole of the battery is shown grounded, is desirable in the case of a highway sign as shown in Fig. 8.

The operation of this form of amflector is described as follows. The light striking the outer lamina 50 is converted to electrons in the photoemissive lamina 52, and the electrons are accelerated downwardly into the electron emissive lamina 58. Secondary electrons are emitted from lamina 58 which are repelled by the negative charge of plate 62 and are attracted by the positive charge of the grid 54, whereby the secondary electrons are accelerated upwardly. These accelerated electrons excite fluorescence in the lamina 52, which gives oif an amplified beam of light.

In this form of. amflector it will be noted that the laminae 58, 60 and 62 form a condenser. Laminae 52, 56 and 58 likewise form a condenser in series with the first. Lamina 58 acts in a double capacity, becoming the positive plate of the condenser 58, 60, 62 and the negative plate of the condenser 52, 56, 58. Thus, the lamina 58 will not show a charge as a whole, whereas the lamina 52 will show a positive charge and plate 62 will show a negative charge.

When operating, the lamina 58 would tend to acquire a positive charge equal to that of lamina 52 due to the loss of electrons by balance. However, in this arrangement, this cannot take place because of the intense field created across the insulating thin film 60, which will cause electrons to migrate across into the lamina 58 when and where needed. This lamina 58 has semi-conductor characteristics. 7

Lamina 52 can be made in several ways. The form illustrated is alike on both sides of thegrid wires 54. Both top and bottom sides contain the same active materials so that fluorescence or the emission of electrons can take place either above or below the level of the grid. Those electrons emitted below the grid will take an upward course due to the powerful attraction of the positively charged grid 54. The force of attraction is proportional to the potential of the grid. Those electrons emitted above the grid will be accelerated in a downward direction for the same reason, and will pass through the interstices of the grid. The electrons accelerated upward excite fluorescence in the fluorescent material present. Those accelerated downward cross the insulating film 56 and enter lamina 58. The electron emissive substances contained in lamina 58 cause the secondary emission of electrons as previously described. In the arrangement described, it is possible to obtain the emission of several thousand secondary electrons for each primary electron.

Because of the large amplification possible, only one other accelerating element is shown, but if desired any number may be used in cascade. In this form of the invention, it will be seen that the light beam is transformed into electrons which are multiplied, and reflected by a negatively charged plate and then transformed back into amplified light. This form of the invention has a reaction time factor which may not be suitable for television usage; however, it would be suitable for a motion picture screen where the permitted time factor is comparatively large. Also, it would be useful as an amflection screen upon which to project photographs. It would be extremely useful as a highway marker.

The amflectors described in Figs. 1-3 and 5-7 have many uses. Of particular importance is the use of this device to obtain amplified light for illumination. As shown in Fig. 4, a ceiling 80 is provided with a reflector 82 suspended in a central location surrounded by a plurality of amflector panels 84. Inside the reflector 82 is a source of ultra violet light, for example, a mercury quartz tube. The light is reflected by the reflector" 82 onto the amflectors 84 wherein the light is amplified-for illumination of the room.

Referring to Fig. 4, the room comprising the walls" 86 may be illuminated by the amflectors 88 excited by a source of light of suitable wavelength located within the reflectors 90 shown near the bottom of each amflector 88.

Utilizing these forms of the invention, it is possible to attain several hundred lumens of visible light per watt.

The form of the invention shown in Fig. 8 illustrates the use of the amflectors in conjunction with highway signs and markers wherein the light from the headlights of approaching automobiles can be amplified to intensify the light reflected back to the automobile. 7

it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made without departing from thespirit of the invention and therefore the invention is not limited to what is shown in the drawings and described in the specification but only as indicated in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In a light amplifying and reflecting system, the combination of a laminated structure of contacting laminae including a lamina of electron sensitive and light-emissive material, a lamina of light sensitive and electron-emissive material, a lamina of an electrically conducting ma terial, a source of positive potential connected to said lamina of electrically conducting material to maintain a positive charge thereon, a thin insulating lamina, a lamina of electron-emissive material having the characteristic of emitting more than one electron for each electron impinging thereon, a thin lamina of insulating material, a metallic lamina, and a source of negative potential connected to said metallic lamina, said lamina being arranged in the order specified, whereby a beam of light striking said structure is converted into electrons, the number of electrons is multiplied and reversed in direction, and the electrons are converted into an amplified beam of light which is emitted from the structure.

2. In a light amplifying and reflecting system in accordance with claim 1, wherein said electrically conducting lamina is an electron permeable grid, and wherein said electron sensitive and light emissive material and said light sensitive and electron-emissive material are disposed in the interstices of said grid whereby said laminae are substantially coextensive.

3. In a light amplifying and reflecting system, the combination of a laminated structure of contacting laminae arranged in the order specified including an outer lamina of electron sensitive and light emissive material, a lamina of an electrically conducting material, a source of positive potential connected to said lamina of electrically conducting material to maintain a positive charge thereon, and a lamina of light sensitive and electron emissive material, whereby a beam of light entering said system is converted into electrons in said light sensitive and electron emissive lamina, said electrons are accelerated in the opposite direction by said positively charged conducting lamina thereabove, and said accelerated electrons are converted into an amplified beam of light in said outer lamina.

4. In a light amplifying and reflecting system, the combination of a laminated structure of contacting laminae arranged in the order specific including an outer lamina of electron sensitive and light emissive material, a lamina of an electrically conducting material, a source of positive potential connected to said lamina of electrically conducting material to maintain a positive charge thereon, a lamina of light sensitive and electron emissive material, and specular means for reflecting light, whereby a light beam entering said system is partially converted into electrons in said light sensitive and electron emissive lamina, said electrons are accelerated in the opposite direction by said positive conducting lamina 7 outwardly thereof, and said accelerated electrons are converted into an amplified beam of-light in said outer lamina,"and the remaining light passing through said system is reflected in the opposite direction by the reflecting means and is amplified in the same manner previously described in returning through the system.

5. In a light amplifying and reflecting system, the combination of a laminated structure of contacting laminae arranged in the order specified including an outer lamina of electron sensitive and light emissive material, a first lamina of an electrically conducting material, a source of positive potential connected to said lamina of electrically conducting material to maintain a positive charge thereon, a lamina of light sensitive and electron emissive material, a second lamina of electrically conducting material, a source of positive potential connected to said lamina of electrically conducting material to maintain a positive charge thereon, a lamina of light sensitive and electron emissive material, a third lamina of an electrically conducting material, a source of positive potential connected to said lamina of electrically conducting material to maintain a positive charge thereon, said second lamina of electrically conducting material having a lower positive charge than the first and third said laminae, a lamina of electron sensitive and light emissive material, and specular means for reflecting light, whereby light entering said system is converted into electrons in said light sensitive and electron emissive laminae, said electrons being accelerated in the direction of the nearest higher positively charged lamina, said accelerated electrons being converted into an amplified beam of light, the innermost amplified beam of light being reflected outwardly and being further amplified in passing outwardly through said laminae.

6. In a light amplifying and reflecting system, the combination of means for transforming a beam of light into a beam of electrons, means for accelerating said beam of electrons, means for converting said accelerated beam of electrons into an amplified beam of light, means for reflecting said amplified beam of light back through said previously defined means whereby a portion of said amplified beam of light is again converted into electrons, said electrons are accelerated, and said accelerated electrons are converted into an amplified beam of light.

7. In a light amplifying and reflecting system, the combination of means for transforming a beam of light into a beam of electrons, means for accelerating said beam of electrons, means for reversing the direction of said beam of electrons back through said previously defined means and means for transforming said beam of electrons into an amplified beam of light which passes from the system in the direction opposite to the direction of the original beam of light.

8. A method of reflecting and amplifying a beam of light comprising transforming'said beam of light into a beam of electrons, accelerating the beam of electrons, transforming the accelerated beam of electrons into an amplified beam of light, reflecting the amplified beam of light in a direction opposite to the direction of the original beam of light, transforming the amplified beam of light into an amplified beam of electrons, reaccelerating the amplified beam of electrons, and transforming the reaccelerated beam of electronsinto a reamplified beam of lightwhich is emitted in a direction opposite to the direction of the original beam of light.

9. A method of reflecting and amplifying a beam of light comprising transforming said beam of light into a beam of electrons, amplifying the beam of electrons into an amplified beam of electrons, accelerating the amplified beam of electrons in a direction opposite to the direction of the original beam of light, transforming the accelerated amplified beam of electrons into an amplified beam of light which is emitted in a direction opposite to the direction of the original beam of light which has now been amplifiedQ 10. In a light amplifying and reflecting system, the combination of a laminated structure of contacting laminae arranged in the order specified, including a lamina of light sensitive and electron emission material, a lamina of electrically conducting material, a source of positive potential connected to said lamina of electrically conducting material to maintain a positive charge thereon, a lamina of electron sensitive and light emissive material, and specular means for reflecting light, whereby light entering said system is converted into electrons, said electrons are accelerated, the accelerated electrons being converted into an amplified beam of light which is reflected in the opposite direction and emitted from the system.

11. In a light amplifying and reflecting system in accordance with claim 1, wherein said lamina of electron emissive material has semi-conducting properties.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2264709 *23 Dec 19372 Dec 1941Emi LtdElectron mirror
US2594740 *17 Feb 195029 Apr 1952Forest Lee DeElectronic light amplifier
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3187184 *27 Jul 19621 Jun 1965Hazeltine Research IncElectroluminescent-photoconductive device with improved linearity response
US3339075 *12 Aug 196329 Aug 1967Westinghouse Electric CorpSolid state display device for amplifying or converting input radiation including a field emissive layer
Classifications
U.S. Classification250/214.0LA
International ClassificationF21K2/00
Cooperative ClassificationF21K2/00
European ClassificationF21K2/00