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1. (WO2019029794) CURABLE PHOTOCHROMIC COMPOSITION INCLUDING A SEGMENTED POLYMER
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CURABLE PHOTOCHROMIC COMPOSITION INCLUDING

A SEGMENTED POLYMER

FIELD

[1] The present invention relates to curable photochromic compositions, which include a photochromic compound, a segmented polymer that includes at least one first segment, and at least one second segment, and a curing agent, and photochromic articles prepared from such compositions, such as photochromic optical lenses.

BACKGROUND

[2] In response to certain wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation (or "actinic radiation"), photochromic compounds, such as indeno-fused naphthopyrans, typically undergo a transformation from one form or state to another form, with each form having a characteristic or distinguishable absorption spectrum associated therewith. Typically, upon exposure to actinic radiation, many photochromic compounds are transformed from a closed-form, which corresponds to an unactivated (or bleached, e.g., substantially colorless) state of the photochromic compound, to an open-form, which corresponds to an activated (or colored) state of the photochromic compound. In the absence of exposure to actinic radiation, such photochromic compounds are reversibly transformed from the activated (or colored) state, back to the unactivated (or bleached) state. Compositions and articles, such as optical lenses, that contain photochromic compounds or have photochromic compounds applied thereto (e.g., in form of a photochromic coating composition) typically display colorless (e.g., clear) and colored states that correspond to the colorless and colored states of the photochromic compounds contained therein or applied thereto.

[3] Photochromic compounds can be used in curable compositions to form, for example, cured layers, such as cured films or sheets that are photochromic. With cured photochromic films, such as cured photochromic coatings, it is typically desirable that they provide a combination of hardness and photochromic performance. Generally, the kinetics associated with the reversible transformation of a photochromic compound between a closed-form (unactivated / colorless) and an open-form (activated / colored) is faster in a soft matrix, but slower in a hard matrix (of the cured film in which the photochromic compound resides).

Cured photochromic films having a soft matrix typically have reduced hardness, while those having a hard matrix typically have increased hardness.

[4] It would be desirable to develop curable photochromic compositions that provide cured photochromic layers having improved hardness without a reduction in photochromic performance.

SUMMARY

[5] In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a curable photochromic composition comprising:

(a) a photochromic compound;

(b) a segmented polymer comprising active hydrogen groups, at least one first segment, and at least one second segment, wherein,

(i) each first segment independently comprises a (meth)acrylic polymer segment, and

(ii) each second segment independently comprises at least one of, a polycarbonate segment, a polyester segment, a polyether segment, a polyurethane segment, and combinations of two or more thereof; and

(c) a curing agent comprising reactive functional groups that are reactive with the active hydrogen groups of the segmented polymer, wherein the curing agent comprises at least one of, a polyisocyanate, a polyisothiocyanate, and an aminoplast.

[6] The features that characterize the present invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims, which are annexed to and form a part of this disclosure. These and other features of the invention, its operating advantages and the specific objects obtained by its use will be more fully understood from the following detailed description in which non-limiting embodiments of the invention are illustrated and described.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[7] As used herein, the articles "a," "an," and "the" include plural referents unless otherwise expressly and unequivocally limited to one referent.

[8] Unless otherwise indicated, all ranges or ratios disclosed herein are to be understood to encompass any and all subranges or subratios subsumed therein. For example, a stated range or ratio of "1 to 10" should be considered to include any and all subranges between (and inclusive of) the minimum value of 1 and the maximum value of 10; that is, all subranges or subratios beginning with a minimum value of 1 or more and ending with a maximum value of 10 or less, such as but not limited to, 1 to 6.1, 3.5 to 7.8, and 5.5 to 10.

[9] Other than in the operating examples, or where otherwise indicated, all numbers expressing quantities of ingredients, reaction conditions, and so forth used in the specification and claims are to be understood as modified in all instances by the term "about."

[10] As used herein, molecular weight values of polymers, such as weight average molecular weights (Mw) and number average molecular weights (Mn), are determined by gel permeation chromatography using appropriate standards, such as polystyrene standards.

[11] As used herein, polydispersity index (PDI) values represent a ratio of the weight average molecular weight (Mw) to the number average molecular weight (Mn) of the polymer (i.e., Mw/Mn).

[12] As used herein, the term "polymer" means homopolymers (e.g., prepared from a single monomer species), copolymers (e.g., prepared from at least two monomer species), and graft polymers.

[13] As used herein, the term "(meth)acrylate" and similar terms, such as "(meth)acrylic acid ester" means methacrylates and/or acrylates. As used herein, the term "(meth)acrylic acid" means methacrylic acid and/or acrylic acid.

[14] As used herein, the term "photochromic" and similar terms, such as

"photochromic compound" means having an absorption spectrum for at least visible radiation that varies in response to absorption of at least actinic radiation. Further, as used herein the term "photochromic material" means any substance that is adapted to display photochromic properties (such as, adapted to have an absorption spectrum for at least visible radiation that varies in response to absorption of at least actinic radiation) and which includes at least one photochromic compound.

[15] As used herein, the term "actinic radiation" means electromagnetic radiation that is capable of causing a response in a material, such as, but not limited to, transforming a photochromic material from one form or state to another as will be discussed in further detail herein.

[16] As used herein, the term "photochromic material" includes thermally reversible photochromic materials and compounds and non-thermally reversible photochromic materials and compounds. The term "thermally reversible photochromic compounds/materials" as used herein means compounds/materials capable of converting from a first state, for example a "clear state," to a second state, for example a "colored state," in response to actinic radiation, and reverting back to the first state in response to thermal energy. The term "non-thermally reversible photochromic compounds/materials" as used herein means compounds/materials capable of converting from a first state, for example a "clear state," to a second state, for example a "colored state," in response to actinic radiation, and reverting back to the first state in response to actinic radiation of substantially the same wavelength(s) as the absorption(s) of the colored state.

[17] As used herein to modify the term "state," the terms "first" and "second" are not intended to refer to any particular order or chronology, but instead refer to two different conditions or properties. For purposes of non-limiting illustration, the first state and the second state of a photochromic compound can differ with respect to at least one optical property, such as but not limited to the absorption of visible and/or UV radiation. Thus, according to various non-limiting embodiments disclosed herein, the photochromic compounds of the present invention can have a different absorption spectrum in each of the first and second states. For example, while not limiting herein, a photochromic compound of the present invention can be clear in the first state and colored in the second state. Alternatively, a photochromic compound of the present invention can have a first color in the first state and a second color in the second state.

[18] As used herein the term "optical" means pertaining to or associated with light and/or vision. For example, according to various non- limiting embodiments disclosed herein, the optical article or element or device can be chosen from ophthalmic articles, elements and devices, display articles, elements and devices, windows, mirrors, and active and passive liquid crystal cell articles, elements and devices.

[19] As used herein the term "ophthalmic" means pertaining to or associated with the eye and vision. Non-limiting examples of ophthalmic articles or elements include

corrective and non-corrective lenses, including single vision or multi-vision lenses, which can be either segmented or non-segmented multi-vision lenses (such as, but not limited to, bifocal lenses, trifocal lenses and progressive lenses), as well as other elements used to correct, protect, or enhance (cosmetically or otherwise) vision, including without limitation, contact lenses, intra-ocular lenses, magnifying lenses, and protective lenses or visors.

[20] As used herein the term "display" means the visible or machine-readable representation of information in words, numbers, symbols, designs or drawings. Non-limiting examples of display elements include screens, monitors, and security elements, such as security marks.

[21] As used herein the term "window" means an aperture adapted to permit the transmission of radiation there-through. Non-limiting examples of windows include automotive and aircraft transparencies, windshields, filters, shutters, and optical switches.

[22] As used herein the term "mirror" means a surface that specularly reflects a large fraction of incident light.

[23] As used herein the term "liquid crystal cell" refers to a structure containing a liquid crystal material that is capable of being ordered. A non-limiting example of a liquid crystal cell element is a liquid crystal display.

[24] As used herein, spatial or directional terms, such as "left", "right", "inner",

"outer", "above", "below", and the like, relate to various orientations of the invention as may be described further herein, such as articles and multilayer articles of the present invention. It is to be understood, however, that the invention can assume various alternative orientations to those described herein and, accordingly, such terms are not to be considered as limiting.

[25] As used herein, the terms "formed over," "deposited over," "provided over,"

"applied over," residing over," or "positioned over," mean formed, deposited, provided, applied, residing, or positioned on but not necessarily in direct (or abutting) contact with the underlying element, or surface of the underlying element. For example, a layer "positioned over" a substrate does not preclude the presence of one or more other layers, coatings, or films of the same or different composition located between the positioned or formed layer and the substrate.

[26] All documents, such as but not limited to issued patents and patent applications, referred to herein, and unless otherwise indicated, are to be considered to be "incorporated by reference" in their entirety.

[27] As used herein, recitations of "linear or branched" groups, such as linear or branched alkyl, are herein understood to include: a methylene group or a methyl group; groups that are linear, such as linear C2-C20 alkyl groups; and groups that are appropriately branched, such as branched C3-C20 alkyl groups.

[28] As used herein, recitations of "optionally substituted" group, means a group, including but not limited to, alkyl group, cycloalkyl group, heterocycloalkyl group, aryl group, and/or heteroaryl group, in which at least one hydrogen thereof has been optionally replaced or substituted with a group that is other than hydrogen, such as, but not limited to, halo groups (e.g., F, CI, I, and Br), hydroxyl groups, ether groups, thiol groups, thio ether groups, carboxylic acid groups, carboxylic acid ester groups, phosphoric acid groups, phosphoric acid ester groups, sulfonic acid groups, sulfonic acid ester groups, nitro groups, cyano groups, hydrocarbyl groups (including, but not limited to: alkyl; alkenyl; alkynyl; cycloalkyl, including poly-fused-ring cycloalkyl and polycyclocalkyl; heterocycloalkyl; aryl, including hydroxyl substituted aryl, such as phenol, and including poly-fused-ring aryl; heteroaryl, including poly-fused-ring heteroaryl; and aralkyl groups), and amine groups, such as -N(Rn ')(Ri2') where R11 ' and R12' are each independently selected, with some embodiments, from hydrogen, linear or branched C1-C20 alkyl, C3-C12 cycloakyl, C3-C12 heterocycloalkyl, aryl, and heteroaryl.

[29] As used herein, recitations of "halo substituted" and related terms (such as, but not limited to, haloalkyl groups, haloalkenyl groups, haloalkynyl groups, haloaryl groups and halo-heteroaryl groups) means a group in which at least one, and up to and including all of the available hydrogen groups thereof is substituted with a halo group. The term "halo-substituted" is inclusive of "perhalo-substituted." As used herein, the term perhalo-substituted group and related terms (such as, but not limited to perhaloalkyl groups, perhaloalkenyl groups, perhaloalkynyl groups, perhaloaryl groups and perhalo -heteroaryl groups) means a group in which all of the available hydrogen groups thereof are substituted with a halo group. For example, perhalo methyl is -CX3; perhalophenyl is -C6X5, where X represents one or more halo groups, such as, but not limited to F.

[30] Representative alkyl groups include, but are not limited to, methyl, ethyl, propyl, isopropyl, butyl, isobutyl, sec-butyl, tert-butyl, pentyl, neopentyl, hexyl, heptyl, octyl, nonyl and decyl. Representative alkenyl groups include, but are not limited to, vinyl, allyl and propenyl. Representative alkynyl groups include, but are not limited to, ethynyl, 1-propynyl, 2-propynyl, 1-butynyl, and 2-butynyl. Representative cycloalkyl groups include, but are not limited to, cyclopropyl, cyclobutyl, cyclopentyl, cyclohexyl, and cyclooctyl substituents. Representative heterocycloalkyl groups include, but are not limited to, imidazolyl, tetrahydrofuranyl, tetrahydropyranyl and piperidinyl. Representative aryl groups include, but are not limited to, phenyl, naphthyl, anthracynyl and triptycenyl. Representative heteroaryl groups include, but are not limited to, furanyl, pyranyl, pyridinyl, isoquinoline, and pyrimidinyl. Representative aralkyl groups include, but are not limited to, benzyl, and phenethyl.

[31] The term "alkyl" as used herein, in accordance with some embodiments, means linear or branched alkyl, such as but not limited to, linear or branched C1-C25 alkyl, or linear or branched C1-C10 alkyl, or linear or branched C2-C10 alkyl. Examples of alkyl groups from which the various alkyl groups of the present invention can be selected from, include, but are not limited to, those recited previously herein. The term "alkyl" as used herein includes alkyl groups that can, with some embodiments, include one or more unsaturated linkages selected from -CH=CH- groups and/or one or more -C≡C- groups, provided the alkyl group is free of two or more conjugated unsaturated linkages. With some embodiments, the alkyl groups are free of unsaturated linkages, such as -CH=CH- groups and -C≡C- groups.

[32] The term "cycloalkyl" as used herein, in accordance with some embodiments, means groups that are appropriately cyclic, such as but not limited to, C3-C12 cycloalkyl (including, but not limited to, cyclic C5-C7 alkyl) groups. Examples of cycloalkyl groups include, but are not limited to, those recited previously herein. The term "cycloalkyl" as used herein in accordance with some embodiments also includes: bridged ring polycycloalkyl groups (or bridged ring polycyclic alkyl groups), such as but not limited to, bicyclo[2.2.1]heptyl (or norbornyl) and bicyclo[2.2.2]octyl; and fused ring polycycloalkyl groups (or fused ring polycyclic alkyl groups), such as, but not limited to, octahydro- 1 H-indenyl, and decahydronaphthalenyl.

[33] The term "heterocycloalkyl" as used herein, in accordance with some embodiments, means groups that are appropriately cyclic, such as but not limited to, C3-C12 heterocycloalkyl groups or C5-C7 heterocycloalkyl groups, and which have at least one hetero atom in the cyclic ring, such as, but not limited to, O, S, N, P, and combinations thereof. Examples of heterocycloalkyl groups include, but are not limited to, those recited previously herein. The term "heterocycloalkyl" as used herein, in accordance with some embodiments, also includes: bridged ring polycyclic heterocycloalkyl groups, such as but not limited to, 7-oxabicyclo[2.2.1 ]heptanyl; and fused ring polycyclic heterocycloalkyl groups, such as but not limited to, octahydrocyclopenta[b]pyranyl, and octahydro-lH-isochromenyl.

[34] The term "heteroaryl," as used herein, in accordance with some embodiments, includes but is not limited to C5-C18 heteroaryl, such as but not limited to C5-C10 heteroaryl (including fused ring polycyclic heteroaryl groups) and means an aryl group having at least one hetero atom in the aromatic ring, or in at least one aromatic ring in the case of a fused ring polycyclic heteroaryl group. Examples of heteroaryl groups include, but are not limited to, those recited previously herein.

[35] The term "aralkyl, " as used herein, and in accordance with some embodiments, includes but is not limited to C6-C24 aralkyl, such as but not limited to C6-Cio aralkyl, and means an aryl group substituted with an alkyl group. Examples of aralkyl groups include, but are not limited to, those recited previously herein.

[36] The photochromic compositions of the present invention include a segmented polymer that includes active hydrogen groups. The segmented polymer also includes: (i) at least one first segment; and (ii) at least one second segment. Each first segment independently includes a (meth)acrylic polymer segment.

[37] The (meth)acrylic monomers from which the (meth)acrylic polymer segment of each first segment can independently be prepared include, but are not limited to, C1-C20 (meth)acrylates and optionally C1-C20 (meth)acrylates having at least one active hydrogen group selected from hydroxyl, thiol, primary amine, and secondary amine. The C1-C20 groups of the (meth)acrylates can be selected from, for example, C1-C20 linear alkyl, C3-C20 branched alkyl, C3-C20 cycloalkyl, C3-C20 fused ring polycycloalkyl, C5-C20 aryl, and C10-C20 fused ring aryl.

[38] Examples of C1-C20 (meth)acrylates (that are free of functional groups, such as hydroxyl, thiol, primary amine, and secondary amine groups) from which each (meth)acrylic polymer segment of each first segment can be independently prepared include, but are not limited to, methyl (meth)acrylate, ethyl (meth)acrylate, propyl (meth)acrylate, isopropyl (meth)acrylate, butyl (meth)acrylate, isobutyl (meth)acrylate, tert-butyl (meth)acrylate, 2-ethylhexyl (meth)acrylate, lauryl (meth)acrylate, isobornyl (meth)acrylate, cyclohexyl (meth)acrylate and 3,3,5-trimethylcyclohexyl (meth)acrylate.

[39] With some embodiments, the C1-C20 (meth)acrylates having at least one active hydrogen group are each independently selected from C1-C20 (meth)acrylates having at least one hydroxyl group. Examples of C1-C20 (meth)acrylates having at least one active hydrogen group selected from hydroxyl, from which each (meth)acrylic polymer segment of each first segment can be independently prepared include, but are not limited to, 2-hydroxyethyl (meth)acrylate, hydroxypropyl (meth)acrylate, hydroxycyclohexyl (meth)acrylate, 6-hydroxyhexyl(meth) aery late and 12-hydroxydodecyl (meth)acrylate.

[40] With some embodiments, hydroxyl groups are introduced into the (meth)acrylic polymer segment of the first segment, after its formation. For purposes of non-limiting illustration, the (meth)acrylic polymer segment of the first segment can be prepared from monomers including (meth)acrylic monomers having oxirane functionality. The oxirane functional (meth)acrylic monomer residues or units can be hydrolyzed or reacted with monofunctional alcohols after polymerization to form hydroxy functional (meth)acrylic monomer residues or units. Examples of oxirane functional (meth)acrylates from which the (meth)acrylic polymer segment of the first segment can be prepared, include, but are not limited to, glycidyl (meth)acrylate, 3,4-epoxycyclohexylmethyl(meth)acrylate, and 2-(3,4-epoxycyclohexyl) ethyl (meth) acrylate .

[41] With some embodiments, each (meth)acrylic polymer segment of the first segment, is free of functional groups, such as hydroxyl, thiol, primary amine, and secondary amine groups.

[42] With some embodiments, the (meth)acrylic polymer segment of each first segment, in addition to (meth)acrylate monomers, is prepared from additional ethylenically unsaturated radically polymerizable monomers (that are other than (meth) acrylate monomers), such as (meth)acrylic acid, vinyl aromatic monomers, vinyl esters of carboxylic acids, and/or other ethylenically unsaturated monomers that are radically polymerizable.

[43] Examples of vinyl aromatic monomers that can be used to form the

(meth)acrylic polymer segment of the first segment include, but are not limited to, styrene, p-chloromethylstyrene, divinyl benzene, vinyl naphthalene, and divinyl naphthalene.

[44] Examples of vinyl esters of carboxylic acids that can be used to form the

(meth)acrylic polymer segment of the first segment include, but are not limited to, vinyl acetate, vinyl butyrate, vinyl 3,4-dimethoxybenzoate, and vinyl benzoate.

[45] Examples of other ethylenically unsaturated monomers that are radically polymerizable that can be used to form the (meth)acrylic polymer segment of the first segment include, but are not limited to: cyclic anhydrides, such as maleic anhydride, 1 -cyclopentene-1 ,2-dicarboxylic anhydride and itaconic anhydride; esters of acids that are unsaturated but do not have alpha, beta-ethylenic unsaturation, such as methyl ester of undecylenic acid; and diesters of ethylenically unsaturated dibasic acids, such as diethyl maleate.

[46] With some embodiments, the (meth)acrylic polymer segment of each first segment, is prepared from radically polymerizable monomers that are selected only from: (meth)acrylate monomers, such as C1-C20 (meth)acrylates and optionally C1-C20 (meth)acrylates having at least one active hydrogen group selected from hydroxyl, thiol, primary amine, and secondary amine; and optionally (meth)acrylic acid.

[47] The (meth)acrylic polymer segment of each first segment, can be prepared by art-recognized polymerization methods, including, but not limited to, free radical polymerization methods, and living radical polymerization methods, such as atom transfer radical polymerization methods.

[48] The (meth)acrylic polymer segment of each first segment, can have any suitable polymer chain (or backbone) architecture, such as: random polymer chain architecture; block polymer chain architecture; alternating polymer chain architecture; and gradient polymer chain architecture.

[49] The (meth)acrylic polymer segment of each first segment, can have any suitable gross architecture, and as such can be selected from, for example, a linear (meth)acrylic polymer segment and/or a branched (meth)acrylic polymer segment. With some embodiments,

the (meth)acrylic polymer segment of each first segment is a linear (meth)acrylic polymer segment.

[50] The (meth)acrylic segment of each first segment, can have any suitable molecular weight. With some embodiments, the (meth)acrylic segment of each first segment independently has a Mn of at least 2000, such as an Mn of 2000 to 15,000; an Mw of at least 2000, such as a Mw of from 2000 to 30,000; and a PDI of at least 1 , such as from 1 to 2.

[51] The segmented polymer of the curable photochromic compositions of the present invention, further includes at least one second segment, in which each second segment independently includes at least one of, a polycarbonate segment, a polyester segment, a polyether segment, a polyurethane segment, and combinations of two or more thereof.

[52] Each polycarbonate segment of each second segment of the segmented polymer can independently be prepared in accordance with art-recognized methods. With some embodiments, and for purposes of non-limiting illustration, each polycarbonate segment can independently be prepared from the reaction of a polyol, such as a diol, with a carbonyl dihalide, such as carbonyl dichloride, with removal of the resulting halide acid, such as HC1. For purposes of further non-limiting illustration, each polycarbonate segment can independently be prepared from a transesterification reaction of a polyol, such as a diol, and a dihydrocarbyl carbonate, such as diphenyl carbonate, with removal of the resulting hydroxyl functional hydrocarbyl, such as phenol.

[53] Examples to polyols having at least two hydroxyl groups, from which each polycarbonate segment can be independently prepared, include, but are not limited to glycerin, trimethylolpropane, trimethylolethane, trishydroxyethylisocyanurate, pentaerythritol, ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, trimethylene glycol, 1,3-, 1,2- and 1 ,4-butanediols, pentane diols (such as, but not limited to, 1,5-pentane diol), heptanediol, hexanediol, octanediol, 4,4'-(propane-2,2-diyl)dicyclohexanol, 4,4'-methylenedicyclohexanol, neopentyl glycol, 2,2,3-trimethylpentane-l,3-diol, 1,4-dimethylolcyclohexane, 2,2,4-trimethylpentane diol, 4,4'-(propane-2,2-diyl)diphenol, 4,4'-methylenediphenol, and like polyols.

[54] Each polycarbonate segment of each second segment can independently be free of active hydrogen functionality, or include one or more active hydrogen functional groups each independently selected from hydroxyl, thiol, primary amine, and secondary amine. Active hydrogen functionality can be independently introduced into each polycarbonate

segment during formation thereof, or after formation thereof, in accordance with art-recognized methods. With some embodiments, at least some of the polycarbonate segments have hydroxyl functionality. Polycarbonate segments having hydroxyl functionality can, with some embodiments, be prepared from polycarbonate polyols, such as polycarbonate diols. Polycarbonate polyols, such as polycarbonate diols, can, with some further embodiments, be selected from commercially available polycarbonate polyols, such as, but not limited to, ETERNACOLL polycarbonate diols from UBE Industries.

[55] Each polycarbonate segment of each second segment, can have any suitable molecular weight. With some embodiments, each polycarbonate segment of each second segment, independently has an Mn of less than 10,000, such as from 1,000 and 7,000.

[56] Each polyester segment of the each second segment of the segmented polymer can independently be prepared in accordance with art-recognized methods. With some embodiments, and for purposes of non-limiting illustration, each polyester segment can be independently prepared by reacting carboxylic acid functional materials (and/or cyclic anhydrides thereof, and/or esters thereof) having carboxylic acid functionalities (or effective carboxylic acid functionalities, such as in the case of cyclic anhydrides and carboxylic acid esters) of at least 2, and polyols having hydroxy functionalities of at least 2. The molar equivalents ratio of carboxylic acid groups to hydroxy groups of the reactants is selected such that the resulting polyester segment has hydroxyl functionality and/or carboxylic acid functionality, and a desired molecular weight.

[57] Examples of multifunctional carboxylic acids useful in preparing each polyester segment include, but are not limited to, benzene- 1,2,4-tricarboxylic acid, phthalic acid, tetrahydrophthalic acid, hexahydrophthalic acid, endobicyclo-2,2,l,5-heptyne-2,3-dicarboxylic acid, tetrachlorophthalic acid, cyclohexanedioic acid, succinic acid, isophthalic acid, terephthalic acid, azelaic acid, maleic acid, trimesic acid, 3,6-dichlorophthalic acid, adipic acid, sebacic acid, and like multifunctional carboxylic acids (optionally including appropriate cyclic anhydrides thereof and/or esters thereof).

[58] Examples of polyols that can be used to prepare each polyester segment of the second segment include, but are not limited to, those polyol examples recited previously herein.

[59] Each polyester segment of each second segment can independently be free of active hydrogen functionality, or include one or more active hydrogen functional groups each independently selected from hydroxyl, thiol, primary amine, and secondary amine. Active hydrogen functionality can be independently introduced into each polyester segment during formation thereof, or after formation thereof, in accordance with art-recognized methods.

[60] Each polyester segment of each second segment, can have any suitable molecular weight. With some embodiments, each polyester segment of each second segment, independently has an Mn of less than 10,000, such as from 1 ,000 and 7,000.

[61] Each polyether segment of the each second segment of the segmented polymer can independently be prepared in accordance with art-recognized methods. With some embodiments, and for purposes of non-limiting illustration, each polyether segment can independently be prepared from the reaction of polyols having two or more hydroxy groups and polyepoxides having two or more epoxide (or oxirane) groups, which are reacted in proportions such that the resulting polyether has hydroxy functionality and/or oxirane functionality. The polyols and polyepoxides used in the preparation of the polyether segment can be selected from, for example, aliphatic, cycloaliphatic and aromatic polyols and polyepoxides, and mixtures thereof. Specific examples of polyols include those recited previously herein. Polyepoxides useful in preparing the polyether segments include, with some embodiments, those resulting from the reaction of a polyol and epichlorohydrin. With some embodiments, one or more of the polyols recited previously herein can be reacted with epichlorohydrin, so as to result in the formation of a polyepoxide. For purposes of non-limiting illustration, each polyether segment can be independently prepared, with some embodiments, from: 4,4'-(propane-2,2-diyl)diphenol and the diglycidyl ether of 4,4'-(propane-2,2-diyl)diphenol; or 4,4'-(propane-2,2-diyl)dicylcohexanol and the diglycidyl ether of 4,4'-(propane-2,2-diyl)dicylcohexanol.

[62] Each polyether segment of each second segment can independently be free of active hydrogen functionality, or include one or more active hydrogen functional groups each independently selected from hydroxyl, thiol, primary amine, and secondary amine. Active hydrogen functionality can be independently introduced into each polyether segment during formation thereof, or after formation thereof, in accordance with art-recognized methods. [63] Each polyether segment of each second segment, can have any suitable molecular weight. With some embodiments, each polyether segment of each second segment, independently has an Mn of less than 10,000, such as from 1 ,000 and 7,000.

[64] Each polyurethane segment of each second segment of the segmented polymer can independently be prepared in accordance with art-recognized methods. With some embodiments, and for purposes of non-limiting illustration, each polyurethane segment can independently be prepared from the reaction of a polyisocyanate having at least two isocyanate groups, with a polyol having at least two hydroxy groups, with: an appropriate molar excess of hydroxyl groups, so as to form a hydroxyl functional polyurethane having at least 2 hydroxyl groups; or an appropriate molar excess of isocyanate groups so as to form a polyurethane having at least 2 isocyanate groups. Examples of polyisocyanates useful in the preparation of polyurethane segments include, with some embodiments, aliphatic, aromatic, cycloaliphatic and heterocyclic polyisocyanates, and mixtures of such polyisocyanates.

[65] Further examples of polyisocyanates useful in the preparation of polyurethane segments include, but are not limited to, toluene-2,4-diisocyanate; toluene-2,6-diisocyanate; diphenyl methane-4,4'-diisocyanate; diphenyl methane-2,4'-diisocyanate; para-phenylene diisocyanate; biphenyl diisocyanate; 3,3'-dimethyl-4,4'-diphenylene diisocyanate; tetramethylene- 1 ,4-diisocyanate; hexamethylene-l,6-diisocyanate; 2,2,4-trimethyl hexane-1 ,6-diisocyanate; lysine methyl ester diisocyanate; bis(isocyanato ethyl)fumarate; isophorone diisocyanate; ethylene diisocyanate; dodecane-l,12-diisocyanate; cyclobutane-1,3-diisocyanate; cyclohexane-l,3-diisocyanate; cyclohexane-l ,4-diisocyanate; methyl cyclohexyl diisocyanate; hexahydrotoluene-2,4-diisocyanate; hexahydrotoluene-2,6-diisocyanate; hexahydrophenylene- 1 ,3-diisocyanate; hexahydrophenylene- 1 ,4-diisocyanate; perhydrodiphenylmethane-2,4'-diisocyanate; perhydrodiphenylmethane-4,4'-diisocyanate; norbornane diisocyanate; and mixtures thereof.

[66] Examples to polyols having at least two hydroxyl groups, from which the polyurethane segments of the second segment can be prepared, include, but are not limited to those polyols recited previously herein.

[67] Each polyurethane segment of each second segment can independently be free of active hydrogen functionality, or include one or more active hydrogen functional groups each independently selected from hydroxyl, thiol, primary amine, and secondary amine.

Active hydrogen functionality can be independently introduced into each polyurethane segment during formation thereof, or after formation thereof, in accordance with art-recognized methods.

[68] Each polyurethane segment of each second segment, can have any suitable molecular weight. With some embodiments, each polyurethane segment of each second segment, independently has an Mn of less than 10,000, such as from 1,000 and 7,000.

[69] Each second segment, of the segmented polymers of the curable compositions of the present invention, independently includes, with some embodiments, at least one of a polycarbonate segment, a polycarbonate-polyester segment, a polycarbonate-polyurethane segment, and a polycarbonate-polyester-polyurethane segment.

[70] Each polycarbonate -polyester segment of each second segment of the segmented polymer can independently be prepared in accordance with art-recognized methods. With some embodiments, and for purposes of non-limiting illustration, each polycarbonate-polyester segment can independently be prepared in accordance with the description provided previously herein with regard to the preparation of a polyester segment, in which at least some of the polyols are polycarbonate polyols. The polycarbonate polyols can be prepared in accordance with the description provided previously herein with regard to the preparation of a polycarbonate segment, with the molar ratios of the reactants adjusted such that the resulting polycarbonate has hydroxyl functionality, and correspondingly is a polycarbonate polyol.

[71] Each polycarbonate-polyurethane segment of each second segment of the segmented polymer can independently be prepared in accordance with art-recognized methods. With some embodiments, and for purposes of non-limiting illustration, each polycarbonate-polyurethane segment can independently be prepared in accordance with the description provided previously herein with regard to the preparation of a polyurethane segment, in which in which at least some of the polyols are polycarbonate polyols. The polycarbonate polyols can be prepared in accordance with the description provided previously herein with regard to the preparation of a polycarbonate segment, with the molar ratios of the reactants adjusted such that the resulting polycarbonate has hydroxyl functionality, and correspondingly is a polycarbonate polyol.

[72] Each polycarbonate -polyester-polyurethane segment of each second segment of the segmented polymer can independently be prepared in accordance with art-recognized

methods. With some embodiments, and for purposes of non-limiting illustration, each polycarbonate-polyester-polyurethane segment can independently be prepared in accordance with the description provided previously herein with regard to the preparation of a polyurethane segment, in which at least some of the polyols are polycarbonate-polyester polyols. The polycarbonate-polyester polyols can be prepared in accordance with the description as provided previously herein, in which the molar ratio of reactants is adjusted such that the resulting polymer has hydroxyl functionality, and correspondingly is a polycarbonate-polyester polyol.

[73] The segmented polymer(s), of the curable photochromic compositions of the present invention, include active hydrogen groups. In accordance with some embodiments, at least one first segment and/or at least one second segment of each segmented polymer independently include one or more active hydrogen groups.

[74] The active hydrogen equivalent weight of the segmented polymer, with some embodiments, is selected such that a cured article, such as a cured film, prepared from the curable photochromic compositions of the present invention, has desirable properties including, but not limited to, a desirable level of hardness and desirable photochromic performance (such as reduced fade half-life (Tm) values).

[75] The segmented polymer, with some embodiments, has an active hydrogen equivalent weight of less than or equal to 10,000 grams per equivalent (g/eq). With some further embodiments, the segmented polymer has an active hydrogen equivalent weight of from 800 to 7000 g/eq, or from 1000 to 6000 g/eq, or from 1200 to 5000 g/eq. Each active hydrogen group of the segmented polymer is, with some embodiments, independently selected from hydroxyl (-OH), thiol (-SH), primary amine (-NH2), and secondary amine (-NHR' or cyclic amine).

[76] The R' group of each secondary amine group (-NHR') can be selected from any suitable organic group, such as a linear or branched Ci-C2o alkyl group, cycloalkyl group, and aryl group, including those classes and examples thereof recited previously herein. The cyclic amines from which the secondary amine group can be selected include, but are not limited to, those represented by the following Formula (A):

[77] With reference to Formula (A): subscript p is at least 3, such as 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7; and Y independently for each p is selected from -CH2-, -CH(R"), and -C(R")2-, provided that one Y includes a single bond to the segmented polymer. Each R" can be selected from any suitable organic group, such as a linear or branched Ci-C2o alkyl group, cycloalkyl group, and aryl group, including those classes and examples thereof recited previously herein. Examples of cyclic amine groups from which each secondary amine group of the segmented polymer can be independently selected, include, but are not limited to, azetidinyl, pyrrolidinyl, piperidinyl, azepanyl, and azoconyl.

[78] In accordance with some embodiments, each active hydrogen group of the segmented polymer is hydroxyl. The segmented polymer, with some embodiments, has a hydroxyl equivalent weight of less than or equal to 10,000 grams per equivalent (g/eq). With some further embodiments, the segmented polymer has a hydroxyl equivalent weight of from 800 to 7000 g/eq, or from 1000 to 6000 g/eq, or from 1200 to 5000 g/eq.

[79] With some embodiments, each first segment and each second segment of the segmented polymer are formed separately. Subsequently, the previously formed first segment(s) and the previously formed second segment(s) are combined together (such as reacted together resulting in the formation of covalent bond(s) there-between) so as to form the segmented polymer of the curable photochromic compositions of the present invention. With some further embodiments, each first segment is initially formed, and subsequently, each second segment is formed by polymerization from (or off of) the backbone of the previously formed first segment(s).

[80] With the segmented polymers of the curable photochromic compositions of the present invention, and in accordance with some embodiments, at least one first segment and at least one second segment are covalently bonded to each other by a linking group selected from the group consisting of a carboxylic acid ester linking group (-C(O)O-), a thioester linking group (-C(O)-S-), an amide linking group (-C(O)-N(R1)-), a urethane linking group (-N(H)-C(O)-O-), a thiourethane linking group (-N(H)-C(0)-S-), a urea linking group (-Ν^-^Ο)-N(R!)-), a thiourea linking group (-N(R1)-C(S)-N(R1)-), a carbonate linking group (-O-C(O)-

0-), an ether linking group (-0-), and a thioether linking group (-S-). Each R1 group of the above recited linking groups can each be independently selected from hydrogen and any suitable organic group, such as a linear or branched C1-C20 alkyl group, cycloalkyl group, and aryl group, including those classes and examples thereof recited previously herein.

[81] With some embodiments of the present invention, each second segment is covalently bonded to at least one first segment. The segmented polymers, of the curable photochromic compositions of the present invention, are free of gelation (are not gelled), with some embodiments.

[82] With some embodiments, at least one first segment and at least one second segment, of the segmented polymer, are covalently bonded (or linked) to each other by a multifunctional linking group, such as a difunctional linking group. Each functional group of the multi-functional linking group can be selected from a precursor of a linking group recited above. For purposes of non-limiting illustration, an isocyanate functional group (-NCO) is a precursor of a linking group, such as but not limited to, a urethane linking group (-N(H)-C(O)-0-), a thiourethane linking group (-N(H)-C(0)-S-), and a urea linking group (-N(H)-C(O)-N(R!)-), where R1 is selected from hydrogen and any suitable organic group, such as described previously herein.

[83] For purposes of non-limiting illustration, and in accordance with some embodiments, a difunctional linking group (such as, but not limited to, a diisocyanate, or dicarboxylic acid, or dicarboxylic acid ester, or dihaloformate functional linking group) and an active hydrogen functional second segment (such as a hydroxy functional second segment) are reacted together, such that the second segment includes at least one functional group of the difunctional linking group. For purposes of further non-limiting illustration, a diisocyanate functional linking group and a di-hydroxy functional second segment (or second segment precursor) are reacted together with a functional ratio of isocyanate groups to hydroxyl groups of 1.1 : 1 to 3: 1 , or 1.5: 1 to 2: 1. The resulting isocyanate functionalized second segment can then be reacted together with an active hydrogen functional first segment, so as to form a segmented polymer according to the present invention. For purposes including, but not limited to, controlling molecular weight and/or crosslinking, and with some further embodiments, prior to reaction together with the active hydrogen functional first segment, some (e.g., 1% to 50%, or 30% to 50%) of the isocyanate groups of the isocyanate functionalized second

segment are capped (or blocked) with a capping agent (such as one or more of the capping agents recited further herein with regard to the capped polyisocyanate curing agent). Further alternatively, prior to (and/or during) reaction together with the di-hydroxy functional second segment, some (e.g., 1% to 50%, or 30% to 50%) of the isocyanate groups of the diisocyanate functional linking group are capped with a capping agent.

[84] Without intending to be bound by any theory, it is believed that a cured article, such as a cured film, prepared from the curable photochromic compositions of the present invention, includes domains that are composed substantially of second segments, which can be referred to herein as "second segment domains." It is further believed, without intending to be bound by an theory, that at least some (and in some embodiments, at least a major amount) of the photochromic compounds, of the curable photochromic compositions of the present invention, reside within the second segment domains of the cured article. It is additionally believed, without intending to be bound by any theory, that photochromic compounds residing within the second segment domains have an enhanced range of molecular freedom/motion, which allows the photochromic compounds to more easily and quickly transition between open and closed forms, such as in response to exposure to and removal of a source of actinic radiation, thus resulting in enhanced photochromic performance properties associated with the cured article.

[85] In accordance with some embodiments of the curable photochromic composition of the present invention, the second segment is present in the segmented polymer in an amount of from 60 percent by weight to 95 percent by weight, the percent by weights being based on total weight of the segmented polymer (and being inclusive of the recited values).

[86] The curable photochromic composition, with some embodiments, includes a total amount of second segments of from 20 percent by weight to 75 percent by weight, or from 20 percent by weight to 50 percent by weight, or from 25 percent by weight to 45 percent by weight, the percent by weights in each case being based on total solids weight of the curable photochromic composition (and in each case being inclusive of the recited values). The total solids weight of the curable photochromic composition, does not include the weight of any volatile components, such as solvents, and includes the weight of non-volatile components, including: the photochromic compound(s); the segmented polymer; the curing

agent; and any optional non-volatile additives, such as, but not limited to, ultraviolet light stabilizers, heat stabilizers, etc., as described further herein.

[87] The segmented polymer can, with some embodiments, be present in the curable photochromic composition of the present invention in an amount of from 20 to 98 percent by weight, or from 30 to 98 percent by weight, or from 50 to 98 percent by weight, or from 70 to 95 percent by weight, or from 80 to 90 percent by weight, in each case based on total weight of resin solids of the curable photochromic composition.

[88] As used herein, the term "total weight of resin solids" means the total weight of the segmented polymer and the curing agent, and with some further embodiments, does not include the weight of the photochromic compound(s).

[89] The curable photochromic compositions of the present invention include a curing agent that includes reactive functional groups that are reactive with the active hydrogen groups of the segmented polymer, in which the curing agent includes at least one of, a polyisocyanate, a polyisothiocyanate, and an aminoplast.

[90] The polyisocyanate curing (or crosslinking) agent includes at least two isocyanate groups (-NCO). Examples of isocyanate functional materials from which the polyisocyanate curing agent can be selected, with some embodiments, include but are not limited to, toluene-2,4-diisocyanate; toluene-2,6-diisocyanate; diphenyl methane-4,4'-diisocyanate; diphenyl methane-2,4'-diisocyanate; para-phenylene diisocyanate; biphenyl diisocyanate; 3,3'-dimethyl-4,4'-diphenylene diisocyanate; tetramethylene-l,4-diisocyanate; hexamethylene-l,6-diisocyanate; 2,2,4-trimethyl hexane-l,6-diisocyanate; lysine methyl ester diisocyanate; bis(isocyanato ethyl)fumarate; isophorone diisocyanate; ethylene diisocyanate; dodecane- 1 , 12-diisocyanate; cyclobutane- 1 ,3 -diisocyanate; cyclohexane- 1 ,3-diisocyanate; cyclohexane-l,4-diisocyanate; methyl cyclohexyl diisocyanate; hexahydrotoluene-2,4-diisocyanate; hexahydrotoluene-2,6-diisocyanate; hexahydrophenylene-l ,3-diisocyanate; hexahydrophenylene- 1 ,4-diisocyanate; perhydrodiphenylmethane-2,4'-diisocyanate; perhydrodiphenylmethane-4,4'-diisocyanate; norbornane diisocyanate; and mixtures thereof.

[91] The polyisocyanate curing agent can, with some embodiments, be selected from polyisocyanates prepared from dimers and trimers of diisocyante monomers. Dimers and trimers of diisocyanate monomers can be prepared by art-recognized methods, such as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,777,061 at column 3, line 44 through column 4, line 40. Dimers and trimers of the above recited diisocyanate monomers can contain linkages selected from the group consisting of isocyanurate, uretdione, biuret, allophanate and combinations thereof.

[92] The polyisocyanate curing agent can also be selected from an oligomeric polyisocyanate functional adduct. The oligomeric polyisocyanate functional adduct can contain structural linkages selected from urethane (-NH-C(O)-O-), thiourethane (-NH-C(O)-S-), urea (-N(R1)-C(0)-N(R1)-, where each R1 is independently as described previously herein), and combinations of such structural linkages.

[93] As used herein, by "oligomeric polyisocyanate functional adduct" is meant a material that is substantially free of polymeric chain extension. Oligomeric polyisocyanate functional adducts can be prepared by art-recognized methods from, for example, a compound containing three or more active hydrogen groups, such as trimethylolpropane (TMP), and an isocyanate monomer, such as l-isocyanato-3,3,5-trimethyl-5-isocyanatomethylcyclohexane (IPDI), in a molar ratio of 1 :3, respectively. In the case of TMP and IPDI, by employing art-recognized starved feed and/or dilute solution synthesis techniques, an oligomeric adduct having an average isocyanate functionality of 3 can be prepared ("TMP-3IPDI").

[94] The active hydrogen group containing compound, used to prepare the oligomeric polyisocyanate functional adduct, is aliphatic with some embodiments, such as TMP, trishydroxyisocyanurate, pentaerythritol, and trimethylolpropane tris(mercaptoacetate). The isocyanate monomer, used to prepare the oligomeric polyisocyanate functional adduct, with some embodiments, is a diisocyanate monomer and can be selected from those described previously herein.

[95] The isocyanate groups of the polyisocyanate curing agent can, with some embodiments, be capped or blocked with a capping / blocking agent. After exposure to elevated temperature, the capping / blocking agent separates from the isocyanate functional material, allowing the free / unblocked isocyanate groups thereof to react and form covalent bonds with the active hydrogen groups of the segmented polymer. After unblocking or decapping from the polyisocyanate, the capping agent can volatize out of the composition (prior to the composition becoming vitrified) and/or remain in the composition, such as a plasticizer. With some embodiments, it is desirable that the capping agent not form bubbles in the composition and/or overly plasticize the composition after decapping.

[96] The capping groups of the capped polyisocyanate curing agent can be selected from, with some embodiments hydroxy functional compounds, lH-azoles, lactams, ketoximes, and mixtures thereof. Classes of hydroxy functional compounds include, but are not limited to, aliphatic, cycloaliphatic, or aromatic alkyl monoalcohols or phenolics. Specific examples of hydroxy functional compounds useful as capping agents, include, but are not limited to: lower aliphatic alcohols such as methanol, ethanol, and n-butanol; cycloaliphatic alcohols such as cyclohexanol and tetrahydrofuran; aromatic-alkyl alcohols, such as phenyl carbinol and methylphenyl carbinol; and glycol ethers, e.g., ethylene glycol butyl ether, diethylene glycol butyl ether, ethylene glycol methyl ether and propylene glycol methyl ether. With some embodiments, the hydroxy functional capping groups include phenolics, examples of which include, but are not limited to, phenol itself and substituted phenols, such as cresol, nitrophenol and p-hydroxy methylbenzoate.

[97] Examples of lH-azoles that are useful as capping groups include, but are not limited to lH-imidazole, lH-pyrazole, lH-dialkyl pyrazoles (such as, lH-3,5-dimethyl pyrazole and lH-2,5-dimethyl pyrazole), lH-l ,2,3-triazole, lH-l,2,3-benzotriazole, 1H-1,2,4-triazole, lH-5-methyl-l,2,4-triazole, and lH-3-amino-l,2,4-triazole.

[98] Ketoximes useful as capping groups include those prepared from aliphatic or cycloaliphatic ketones. Examples of ketoxime capping groups include, but are limited to, 2-propanone oxime (acetone oxime), 2-butanone oxime (also referred to as, methylethyl ketoxime), 2-pentanone oxime, 3-pentanone oxime, 3-methyl-2-butanone oxime, 4-methyl-2-pentanone oxime, 3,3-dimethyl-2-butanone oxime, 2-heptanone oxime, 3-heptanone oxime, 4-heptanone oxime, 5-methyl-3-heptanone oxime, 2,6-dimethyl-4-heptanone oxime, cyclopentanone oxime, cyclohexanone oxime, 3 -methyl eye lohexanone oxime, 3,3,5-trimethylcyclohexanone oxime, and 3,5,5-trimethyl-2-cyclohexene-5-one oxime.

[99] Examples of lactam capping groups include, but are not limited to, e-caprolactam and 2-pyrolidinone. Other suitable capping groups include, morpholine, 3-aminopropyl morpholine, and N-hydroxy phthalimide.

[100] With some embodiments of the curable photochromic compositions of the present invention, at least some of the reactive functional groups of the curing agent are blocked with a blocking agent (or capping agent), and each blocking agent is independently selected from the group consisting of methylethyl ketoxime, pyrazole (more particularly, lH-pyrazole), and dialkyl pyrazole (more particularly, lH-dialkyl pyrazole).

[101] The polyisothiocyanate curing (or crosslinking) agent, of the curable photochromic compositions of the present invention, includes at least two isothiocyanate groups (-NCS). The polyisothiocyanate curing agent can be selected from those classes and examples of polyisocyanate curing agents described previously herein (including those in which the isocyanate groups are capped or blocked), in which the isocyanate groups (-NCO) thereof are replaced with isothiocyanate groups (-NCS).

[102] The curable photochromic composition of the present invention usually also includes one or more cure catalysts for catalyzing the reaction between the isocyanate groups and/or isothiocyanate groups of the polyisocyanate curing agent and/or polyisothiocyanate curing agent and the active hydrogen groups of the segmented polymer. Classes of useful catalysts include, but are not limited to: metal compounds, such as, but not limited to, organic tin compounds, organic bismuth compounds, organic zinc compounds, organic zirconium compounds, organic aluminum compounds, organic nickel compounds, organic mercury compounds, and alkali metal compounds; and amine compounds, such as tertiary amine compounds, and quaternary ammonium compounds. Examples of organic tin compounds include, but are not limited to: tin(II) salts of carboxylic acids, such as, tin(II) acetate, tin(II) octanoate, tin(II) ethylhexanoate and tin(II) laurate; tin(IV) compounds, such as, dibutyltin oxide, dibutyltin dichloride, dibutyltin diacetate, dibutyltin dilaurate, dibutyltin maleate and dioctyltin diacetate. Examples of suitable tertiary amine catalysts include, but are not limited to, diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane and l ,5-diazabicyclo[4,3,0]non-5-ene. Examples of organic bismuth compounds include, but are not limited to, bismuth carboxylates. Examples of alkali metal compounds include, but are not limited to, alkali metal carboxylates, such as, but not limited to, potassium acetate, and potassium 2-ethylhexanoate. Examples of quaternary ammonium compounds include, but are not limited to, N-hydroxyalkyl quaternary ammonium carboxylates. With some embodiments, the catalyst is selected from tin(II) octanoate, dibutyltin(IV) dilaurate, and/or bismuth 2-ethylhexanoate.

[103] The curing (or crosslinking) agent of the curable photochromic compositions of the present invention can, with some embodiments, be an aminoplast curing agent. The aminoplast curing agent can be selected from art-recognized aminoplast curing agents (or

crosslinkers). Examples of suitable aminoplast curing agents include, but are not limited to, aminoplasts containing methylol and/or methylol ether groups.

[104] Aminoplasts are typically obtained from the reaction of formaldehyde with an amine or amide. Examples of amines or amides include, but are not limited to, melamine, urea, and/or benzoguanamine. Condensates with other amines or amides can also be used, such as, aldehyde condensates of glycoluril, which give a high melting crystalline product which is useful in powder coatings. While formaldehyde is typically used to prepare aminoplast crosslinking agents, other aldehydes can be used, such as acetaldehyde, crotonaldehyde, and/or benzaldehyde.

[105] The aminoplast curing agents typically contain methylol groups. At least a portion of these methylol groups are typically etherified with an alcohol to modify the cure response. Any monohydric alcohol may be employed for this purpose, examples of which include, but are not limited to, methanol, ethanol, butanol, isobutanol, and/or hexanol. With some embodiments, the aminoplast curing agents are selected from melamine-, urea-, and/or benzoguanamine-formaldehyde condensates etherified with an alcohol containing from one to four carbon atoms.

[106] When an aminoplast curing agent is present, the curable photochromic compositions of the present invention typically include one or more catalysts to accelerate the cure of the aminoplast curing agent with the active hydrogen groups of the segmented polymer. Suitable catalysts for aminoplast cure include, but are not limited to, acids such as acid phosphates and sulfonic acids or substituted sulfonic acids. Examples include dodecylbenzene sulfonic acid, paratoluene sulfonic acid, phenyl acid phosphate, ethylhexyl acid phosphate, and the like. The catalyst is typically present in an amount of about 0.05 to about 5.0 percent by weight, or about 0.25 to about 2.0 percent by weight, based on the total weight of resin solids in the curable photochromic composition.

[107] The curing (or crosslinking) agent can be present in the curable photochromic composition of the present invention in an amount of from 2 to 80 percent by weight, or from 2 to 70 percent by weight, or from 2 to 50 percent by weight, or from 5 to 30 percent by weight, or from 10 to 20 percent by weight, the percent weights in each case being based on total weight of resin solids of the curable photochromic composition, and inclusive of the recited values.

[108] The segmented polymer is present in the curable photochromic composition, with some embodiments, in an amount of from 30 to 98 percent by weight, based on total resin solids weight of the curable photochromic composition; and the curing agent is present in the curable photochromic composition, with some embodiments, in an amount of from 2 to 70 percent by weight, based on total resin solids weight of the curable photochromic composition.

[109] With some embodiments of the curable photochromic composition of the present invention: the curing agent includes at least one of the polyisocyanate and the polyisothiocyanate; each reactive functional group of the curing agent is independently selected from isocyanate and isothiocyanate; and a molar ratio of reactive functional groups of the curing agent to active hydrogen groups of the segmented polymer is at least 5: 1.

[110] With some further embodiments of the curable photochromic composition of the present invention: the curing agent includes at least one of the polyisocyanate and the polyisothiocyanate; each reactive functional group of the curing agent is independently selected from isocyanate and isothiocyanate; and a molar ratio of reactive functional groups of the curing agent to active hydrogen groups of the segmented polymer is at least 6: 1 and less than or equal to 60: 1 , such as from 7: 1 to 50: 1 , or from 8: 1 to 40: 1.

[Ill] With some additional embodiments of the curable photochromic composition of the present invention: the curing agent includes the polyisocyanate; and each reactive functional group of the curing agent is selected from isocyanate.

[112] The polyisocyanate of the curable composition of the present invention includes, with some embodiments, at least one of linear or branched aliphatic polyisocyanates, cycloaliphatic polyisocyanates, dimers thereof, and trimers thereof, in each case including, but not limited to, those classes and examples thereof as described previously herein. Examples of linear or branched aliphatic polyisocyanates include, but are not limited to: ethylene diisocyanate; tetramethylene-l ,4-diisocyanate; hexamethylene-l ,6-diisocyanate; 2,2,4-trimethyl hexane-l,6-diisocyanate; and dodecane-l,12-diisocyanate. Examples of cycloaliphatic polyisocyanates include, but are not limited to: cyclobutane-l,3-diisocyanate; cyclohexane-l,3-diisocyanate; cyclohexane-l ,4-diisocyanate; methyl cyclohexyl diisocyanate; hexahydrotoluene-2,4-diisocyanate; hexahydrotoluene-2,6-diisocyanate; hexahydrophenylene-1,3-diisocyanate; hexahydrophenylene-l ,4-diisocyanate; perhydrodiphenylmethane-2,4'-diisocyanate; and perhydrodiphenylmethane-4,4'-diisocyanate.

[113] The curable photochromic compounds of the present invention include a photochromic compound(s). The photochromic compound can be selected from known classes and examples of photochromic compounds, and can include combinations or mixtures thereof.

[114] For example, although not limiting herein, mixtures of photochromic compounds can be used to attain certain activated colors, such as a near neutral gray or near neutral brown. See, for example, U.S. Patent No. 5,645,767, col. 12, line 66 to col. 13, line 19, which describes the parameters that define neutral gray and brown colors and which disclosure is specifically incorporated by reference herein.

[115] With some embodiments, the photochromic compound, of the curable photochromic compositions of the present invention, is selected from the group consisting of naphthopyrans, benzopyrans, phenanthropyrans, indenonaphthopyrans, spiro(indoline)naphthoxazines, spiro(indoline)pyridobenzoxazines, spiro(benzindoline)pyridobenzoxazines, spiro(benzindoline)naphthoxazines, spiro(indoline)-benzoxazines, fulgides, fulgimides, diarylethenes, and mixtures of such photochromic compounds.

[116] Further examples of other photochromic compounds that can be used in curable photochromic compositions of the present invention include, but are not limited to, those disclosed at column 34, line 20 through column 35, line 13 of US 9,028,728 B2, which disclosure is specifically incorporated by reference herein.

[117] The photochromic compound is present in the curable photochromic composition in an amount at least sufficient so as to provide an article prepared from the composition with a desirable level of photochromic properties, which in some embodiments is referred to as a photochromic amount. With some embodiments, the amount of photochromic compound(s) present in the curable photochromic composition is from 0.001 percent by weight to 40 percent by weight, or from 0.001 to 10 percent by weight, or from 0.01 to 5 percent by weight, or from 0.1 to 2.5 percent by weight, based on the total solids weight of curable photochromic composition (including the weight of the photochromic compound(s), and inclusive of the recited values).

[118] The curable photochromic compositions of the present invention can, with some embodiments, optionally contain additives such as, but not limited to: waxes for flow and

wetting; flow control agents, such as poly(2-ethylhexyl)acrylate; antioxidants; and ultraviolet (UV) light absorbers. Examples of useful antioxidants and UV light absorbers include, but are not limited to, those available commercially from BASF under the trademarks IRGANOX and TINUVIN. These optional additives, when used, can be present in amounts up to 20 percent by weight, based on total solids weight of the curable photochromic composition (excluding solvent).

[119] The curable photochromic compositions of the present invention can, with some embodiments, further include one or more fixed-tint dyes. As used herein, the term "fixed-tint dye" and related terms, such as "fixed-colorant," "static colorant," "fixed dye," and "static dye" means dyes that are: non-photosensitive materials, which do not physically or chemically respond to electromagnetic radiation with regard to the visually observed color thereof. The term "fixed-tint dye" and related terms as used herein does not include and is distinguishable from photochromic compound. As used herein, the term "non-photosensitive materials" means materials that do not physically or chemically respond to electromagnetic radiation with regard to the visually observed color thereof, including, but not limited to, fixed-tint dyes.

[120] One or more fixed-tint dyes can be present in the curable photochromic compositions of the present invention for purposes including, but not limited to, providing a cured article prepared from the curable photochromic compositions with: at least a base (or first) color characteristic of the fixed-tint dye, when the photochromic compound is not activated; and optionally a second color characteristic of the combination of the fixed-tint dye and the photochromic compound when activated, such as by exposed to actinic radiation.

[121] The optional fixed-tint dye of the curable photochromic composition, with some embodiments, comprises at least one of azo dyes, anthraquinone dyes, xanthene dyes, azime dyes, iodine, iodide salts, polyazo dyes, stilbene dyes, pyrazolone dyes, triphenylmethane dyes, quinoline dyes, oxazine dyes, thiazine dyes, and polyene dyes.

[122] The fixed-tint dye can be present in the curable photochromic composition in varying amounts to provide the intended effect in the cured article prepared therefrom. With some embodiments, the fixed-tint dye is present in the curable photochromic composition in an amount of from 0.001 to 15 percent by weight, or from 0.01 to 10 percent by weight, or from 0.1 to 2.5 percent by weight, the percent weights in each case being based on the total solids weight of the curable photochromic composition (including the weight of the fixed-tint dye; and inclusive of the recited values).

[123] The curable photochromic compositions of the present can, with some embodiments, include solvents, selected from water, organic solvents, and combinations thereof.

[124] Classes of organic solvents that can be present in the curable photochromic compositions of the present invention include, but are not limited to: alcohols, such as, methanol, ethanol, n-propanol, iso-propanol, n-butanol, sec-butyl alcohol, tert-butyl alcohol, iso-butyl alcohol, furfuryl alcohol and tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol; ketones or ketoalcohols, such as, acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, and diacetone alcohol; ethers, such as, dimethyl ether and methyl ethyl ether; cyclic ethers, such as, tetrahydrofuran and dioxane; esters, such as, ethyl acetate, ethyl lactate, ethylene carbonate and propylene carbonate; hydroxy functional ethers of alkylene glycols, such as, butyl 2-hydroxyethyl ether, methyl 2-hydroxypropyl ether and phenyl 2-hydroxypropyl ether; nitrogen containing cyclic compounds, such as, pyrrolidone, N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone and 1 ,3-dimethyl-2-imidazolidinone; sulfur containing compounds, such as, dimethyl sulfoxide and tetramethylene sulfone; aromatic compounds, such as, toluene, xylene, anisole, and butyl benzoate; and mixtures of aromatic compounds, such as, but not limited to, Aromatic 100 Fluid, which is a commercially available mixture of C9-C10 dialkyl- and trialkyl-benzenes.

[125] Solvent(s) can be present in the curable photochromic compositions of the present invention, in an amount of from 5 to 95 percent by weight, or from 15 to 80 percent by weight, or from 30 to 60 percent by weight, in each case based on the total weight of the curable photochromic composition (including the weight of the solvent).

[126] The present invention also relates to articles, and in particular, photochromic articles that are prepared from the curable photochromic composition of the present invention as described previously herein. With some embodiments, the photochromic article is selected from layers (including films and/or sheets), and 3-dimensional articles.

[127] Classes of 3-dimensional articles, that can be prepared from the curable photochromic compositions of the present invention, include, but are not limited to, ophthalmic articles, display articles, windows, and mirrors.

[128] More typically, the curable photochromic compositions of the present invention are used to prepare photochromic layers, such as photochromic films and photochromic sheets. As used herein , the term "film" means a layer that is not self-supporting, such as, but not limited to, a coating. As used herein, the term "sheet" means a layer that is self-supporting.

[129] The curable photochromic composition of the present invention can be cured by any suitable methods. With some further embodiments, the curable photochromic composition is cured at ambient conditions, such as at room temperature of about 25°C. With some further embodiments, the curable photochromic composition is cured by exposure to elevated temperature (in excess of ambient room temperature). As used herein, by "cured" is meant a three dimensional crosslink network is formed by covalent bond formation, such as between the active hydrogen groups of the segmented polymer and the reactive functional groups of the curing agent. When cured at elevated temperature, the curable photochromic composition can be referred to herein as a thermosetting curable photochromic composition. The temperature at which the thermosetting curable photochromic composition of the present invention is cured is variable and depends in part on the amount of time during which curing is conducted. With some embodiments, the curable photochromic composition is cured at an elevated temperature of from 90°C to 204°C, or from 100°C to 177°C, or from 110°C to 140°C., for a period of 20 to 240 minutes.

[130] The present invention also relates to an article, such as a photochromic article, that comprises: (A) a substrate; and (B) a photochromic layer over at least one surface of the substrate, wherein the photochromic layer is formed from the curable photochromic composition of the present invention.

[131] The article, that includes a substrate, and a photochromic layer over at least one surface of the substrate (formed from the curable photochromic composition of the present invention) can, with some embodiments, be selected from ophthalmic articles, display articles, windows, and mirrors. Correspondingly, the substrate of the article can be selected from ophthalmic substrates, displays, windows, and mirrors. The substrate can be composed of one or more suitable materials, including, but not limited to: organic materials, such as organic polymeric materials; glasses, such as silica-based glasses; metals; ceramic materials; and combinations thereof.

[132] Non-limiting examples of organic materials that can be used to form the substrate of the articles of the present invention, include polymeric materials, for example, homopolymers and copolymers, prepared from the monomers and mixtures of monomers disclosed in U.S. Patent 5,962,617 and in U.S. Patent 5,658,501 from column 15, line 28 to column 16, line 17, the disclosures of which U.S. patents are specifically incorporated herein by reference. For example, such polymeric materials can be thermoplastic or thermoset polymeric materials, can be transparent or optically clear, and can have any refractive index required. Non-limiting examples of such disclosed monomers and polymers include: polyol(allyl carbonate) monomers, e.g., allyl diglycol carbonates such as diethylene glycol bis(allyl carbonate), which monomer is sold under the trademark CR-39 by PPG Industries, Inc.; polyurea-polyurethane (polyurea-urethane) polymers, which are prepared, for example, by the reaction of a polyurethane prepolymer and a diamine curing agent, a composition for one such polymer being sold under the trademark TRIVEX by PPG Industries, Inc.; polyol(meth)acryloyl terminated carbonate monomer; diethylene glycol dimethacrylate monomers; ethoxylated phenol methacrylate monomers; diisopropenyl benzene monomers; ethoxylated trimethylol propane triacrylate monomers; ethylene glycol bismethacrylate monomers; poly(ethylene glycol) bismethacrylate monomers; urethane acrylate monomers; poly(ethoxylated bisphenol A dimethacrylate); poly(vinyl acetate); poly(vinyl alcohol); poly(vinyl chloride); poly(vinylidene chloride); polyethylene; polypropylene; polyurethanes; polythiourethanes; thermoplastic polycarbonates, such as the carbonate-linked resin derived from bisphenol A and phosgene, one such material being sold under the trademark LEXAN; polyesters, such as the material sold under the trademark MYLAR; poly(ethylene terephthalate); polyvinyl butyral; poly(methyl methacrylate), such as the material sold under the trademark PLEXIGLAS, and polymers prepared by reacting polyfunctional isocyanates with polythiols or polyepisulfide monomers, either homopolymerized or co-and/or terpolymerized with polythiols, polyisocyanates, polyisothiocyanates and optionally ethylenically unsaturated monomers or halogenated aromatic-containing vinyl monomers. Also contemplated are copolymers of such monomers and blends of the described polymers and copolymers with other polymers, for example, to form block copolymers or interpenetrating network products.

[133] The substrate, with some embodiments, can optionally include a photochromic material and/or a fixed-tint dye, which can each be selected from those classes and examples of photochromic materials and fixed-tint dyes as described previously herein. The optional photochromic material(s) / compound(s) present in the substrate can be the same or different than the photochromic compound(s) of the photochromic layer. The optional fixed-tint dye(s) can be the same or different than the optional fixed-tint dye(s) of the photochromic layer.

[134] The photochromic layer of the article can be a photochromic film or a photochromic sheet. The photochromic sheet can be formed in accordance with art-recognized methods, such as, but not limited to, extrusion methods. With some embodiments, the photochromic film of the article is a photochromic coating, and the curable photochromic composition of the present invention is a curable photochromic coating composition.

[135] The curable photochromic coating composition can be applied to the substrate in accordance with art-recognized methods, which include, but are not limited to, spray application methods, curtain coating application methods, draw-down blade (or bar) application methods, dip-coating application methods, spin-coating application methods, jet printing methods (such as inkjet printing methods, where the "ink" is replaced with a curable photochromic composition according to the present invention), and combinations thereof.

[136] After application of the curable photochromic composition over at least one surface of the substrate, the applied curable photochromic composition is cured, such as described previously herein. The photochromic layer can be in the form of a single layer or multiple layers. When in the form of multiple layers, each layer of the photochromic layer can be prepared from curable photochromic compositions according to the present invention, having the same or different compositions, such as the same or different photochromic compound(s). The photochromic layer can have any suitable thickness, such as from 10 micrometers to 250 micrometers, or from 15 micrometers to 75 micrometers.

[137] In addition to the photochromic layer, the article can optionally include one or more further art-recognized layers, such as, but not limited to: a primer layer(s); an adhesive layer(s); a protective layer(s) (such as a hard-coat layer); a polarizing layer(s); a birefringent layer(s); an antireflective layer(s); and/or another photochromic layer(s) that is prepared from a composition other than the curable photochromic composition of the present invention.

[138] The present invention further relates to a photochromic multilayer article comprising at least one photochromic layer formed from the curable photochromic composition of the present invention. Each layer of the photochromic multilayer article can independently be in the form of a film or a sheet. The photochromic multilayer article can include, with some embodiments, two or more layers that are formed from the same or different curable photochromic compositions of the present invention.

[139] The multilayer article of the present invention can optionally include one or more further art-recognized layers, such as, but not limited to: an adhesive layer(s); a protective layer(s) (such as a hard-coat layer); a polarizing layer(s); a birefringent layer(s); an antireflective layer(s); and/or another photochromic layer(s) that is prepared from a composition other than the curable photochromic composition of the present invention.

[140] The multilayer article of the present invention can have any suitable thickness, such as from 10 micrometers to 1000 micrometers, or from 15 micrometers to 750 micrometers, or from 25 to 100 micrometers.

[141] The multilayer article of the present invention can be used alone or in conjunction with another article, such as a substrate. The substrate can be selected from those classes and examples of substrates as described previously herein with regard to the article of the present invention, such as ophthalmic substrates, displays, windows, and/or mirrors. The substrate can be composed of one or more suitable materials, including, but not limited to: organic materials, such as organic polymeric materials; glasses, such as silica-based glasses; metals; ceramic materials; and combinations thereof.

[142] The multilayer article of the present invention can be adhered to a surface of a substrate by art-recognized methods, such as, but not limited to: static clinging, such as with static electricity; one or more interposed adhesive layers; fusion bonding, such as thermal fusion bonding; and in-mold formation, such as where the multilayer article is placed in a mold, and the substrate is formed against at least one surface of the multilayer article within the mold. The multilayer article of the present invention can, with some embodiments, be supported by one or more brackets that engage retainingly with one or more peripheral regions of the multilayer article.

[143] The present invention is more particularly described in the following examples, which are intended to be illustrative only, since numerous modifications and variations therein will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Unless otherwise specified, all parts and all percentages are by weight.

EXAMPLES

[144] In Part 1 of the following examples, the synthesis of polymer segments and segmented polymers is described. In Part 2 of the following examples, the preparation of curable photochromic compositions is described. In Part 3 of the following examples, the results of testing the curable photochromic compositions of Part 2 are described.

Part 1: Synthesis of Polymer Segments.

[145] All molecular weights recited as follows are reported as number average molecular weights (Mn) and were determined by gel permeation chromatography using PLgel MIXED-C and PLgel 500A columns (available from Agilent Technologies) placed in series, with tetrahydrofuran eluent and using polystyrene standards. Percent weight solids were determined by subjecting samples to heating in an oven at 120°C for one hour. Part 1A provides a description of the synthesis of (meth)acrylic polymer segments (first segments). Part IB provides a description of the synthesis of polycarbonate-polyester diol segments (second segments). Part 1C provides a description of the synthesis of segmented polymers according to the present invention.

Part 1A: Preparation of (meth)acrylic polymer segments.

[146] The materials used in the preparation of (meth)acrylic polymer segments (A) and (B) are summarized in the following Table 1 , and the preparation of (meth)acrylic polymer segment (C) is described thereafter. The (meth)acrylic polymer segments (A), (B), and (C) are also referred to in the present examples as (meth)acrylic polyol segments.

[147] In preparing (meth)acrylic polyol segments (A) and (B), Charge 1, of Table 1, was sparged with nitrogen for 10 minutes then heated to 140°C. The AIBN was dissolved in THF prior to adding to the remainder of Charge 2, which was added dropwise to Charge 1 over about 25 minutes, with removal of the evaporated THF via a Dean Stark trap. The solution was held for one hour at 140°C, then Charge 3 was added, followed by an additional 30 minute hold. The resulting (meth)acrylic polyol segments (A) and (B) were both observed to be colorless viscous liquids.

Table 1

Preparation of (meth)acrylic polyol segments (A) and (B)


[148] The (meth)acrylic polyol segment (C) corresponded to the Acrylic polyol of

Table 6 of WO 2017/030545 Al , and was prepared by free radical polymerization of hydroxypropyl methacrylate (40.4%), butyl methacrylate (57.6%), and acrylic acid (2.0%), and had: a total solids of 61.5% by weight; a Mn of 3920; a polydispersity index of 1.58; and a theoretical hydroxyl equivalent weight (on solids) of 360.

Part IB: Preparation of polycarbonate-polyester diol segments.

[149] The materials used in the preparation of polycarbonate-polyester diol segments

(D), (E), and (F) are summarized in the following Table 2. Polycarbonate -polyester diol segments (D), (E), and (F) were each synthesized in a round bottom flask equipped with a mechanical stirrer and a Dean Stark trap. After introduction into the round bottom flask, each reaction mixture was initially heated to 140°C, and then increased to 200°C at a rate of 20°C/hour. Xylenes and water were removed from the Dean Stark trap as needed to maintain the temperature for 3.5 hours, at which time the acid value was measured to be <1 mg KOH/g.

At this point, the reaction mixture used to prepare polycarbonate-polyester diol segment (D) was held at 200°C for 45 minutes to remove the remaining xylenes, yielding a hazy resin product. When the reaction mixtures used to prepare polycarbonate -polyester diol segments (E) and (F) reached an acid value of <1 mg KOH/g, additional xylenes were added to reduce the solids to the levels indicated in Table 2.

Table 2

Preparation of polycarbonate-polyester diol segments (D), (E), and (F).


A polycarbonate diol with a hydroxyl equivalent weight of 968, available from Asahi Kasei.

2 A polycarbonate diol with a hydroxyl equivalent weight of 1,516, available from UBE Industries.

Part 1C: Preparation of Segmented Polymers.

[150] The preparation of segmented polymer (G) through (L) are described as follows with reference to Tables 3 through 8. Segmented polymers (G) and (H) include (meth)acrylic polyol and polycarbonate diol segments that are covalently bonded together by urethane linking groups. Segmented polymers (I) through (K) include (meth)acrylic polyol and polycarbonate-polyester diol segments that are covalently bonded together by urethane linkages. Segmented polymer (L) includes (meth)acrylic polyol and polycarbonate segments that are covalently bonded together by carbonate linkages.

[151] The preparation of segmented polymers (G) through (K) involved, in some instances, the use of Surface SWYPE™ isocyanate detection pads (available from Colormetric Laboratories, Inc.) for purposes of determining whether residual isocyanate was present.

Segmented Polymer (G):

[152] Segmented polymer (G), which included (meth)acrylic polyol and polycarbonate diol segments covalently bonded together by urethane linking groups, was prepared from the materials listed in Table 3. The first three ingredients listed in Table 3 were combined and heated to 60°C. The dibutyltin dilaurate was added and the temperature was held at 80°C for 1 hour. The first charge of 1-butanol was added and stirred for 10 minutes followed by (meth)acrylic polyol segment (A). The temperature was held at 80°C for 2.5 hours, followed by 1.5 hours at 90°C, and 2 hours at 95°C. The second charge of 1-butanol along with NMP were added to quench any residual isocyanate. The product was concentrated to provide a viscous liquid having a total solids of 56 percent by weight.

Table 3

Segmented Polymer (G)


A polycarbonate diol with a hydroxyl equivalent weight of 1,516, available from UBE Industries.

Segmented Polymer (H):

[153] Segmented polymer (H), which included (meth)acrylic polyol and polycarbonate diol segments covalently bonded together by urethane linking groups, was prepared from the materials listed in Table 4. The first three ingredients listed in Table 4 were combined and heated to 60°C. The dibutyltin dilaurate was added and the temperature was increased to 70°C and held for 1 hour. The 1-butanol was added, and the temperature was increased to 80°C and held for 30 minutes. The (meth)acrylic polyol segment (B) and the NMP were added, and the reaction was held at 80°C for 3.5 hours. The toluene was removed by vacuum, and additional NMP (23.37 pbw) was added to provide a viscous liquid having a total solids of 49 percent by weight.

Table 4

Segmented Polymer (H)


A polycarbonate diol with a hydroxyl equivalent weight of 1,516, available from UBE Industries.

Segmented Polymer (I):

[154] Segmented Polymer (I), which included (meth)acrylic polyol and polycarbonate-polyester diol segments covalently bonded together by urethane linkages, was prepared from the ingredients listed in Table 5. The first three ingredients listed in Table 5 were combined and heated to 60°C. The dibutyltin dilaurate was added, and the temperature was increased to 70°C and held for 2.5 hours. The first charge of 3,5-dimethylpyrazole was added, stirred for 30 minutes, then (meth)acrylic polyol segment (C) was added. The temperature was increased to 80°C and held for one hour, followed by three hours at 90°C. The second charge of butyl benzoate was added, the contents were cooled to 40°C, and the second charge of 3,5-dimethylpyrazole was added. The cooled product was observed to be a viscous liquid.

Table 5

Segmented Polymer (I)


A methyl-group branched diisocyanate (an approximate 1 : 1

mixture of 2,2,4- and 2,4,4-trimethyl-hexamethylene

diisocyanate) from Evonik Industries.

Segmented Polymer (J):

[155] Segmented Polymer (J), which included (meth)acrylic polyol and polycarbonate-polyester diol segments covalently bonded together by urethane linkages, was prepared from the ingredients listed in Table 6. The first three ingredients listed in Table 6 were combined and heated to 60°C. The dibutyltin dilaurate was added, the temperature was increased to 80°C and held for two hours. The (meth)acrylic polyol segment (C) was added along with toluene, and the reaction continued at 80°C for 2.5 hours. 1-Butanol (0.22 pbw) was added and stirred for 30 minutes, then the temperature was increased to 90°C and held for 3.5 hours. Testing with Surface SWYPE™ pads indicated isocyanate was still present, and additional toluene (52 pbw) and 1-butanol (3.64 pbw) were added, and the reaction contents held at 90°C for 1 1.5 hours, at which time isocyanate was not detected (using Surface SWYPE™ pads). The NMP was added, and the mixture was concentrated to provide a product in the form of a viscous liquid.

Table 6

Segmented Polymer (J)


A methyl-group branched diisocyanate (an approximate 1 : 1 mixture of 2,2,4- and 2,4,4-trimethyl-hexamethylene diisocyanate) from

Evonik Industries.

Segmented Polymer (K):

[156] Segmented Polymer (K), which included (meth)acrylic polyol and polycarbonate-polyester diol segments covalently bonded together by urethane linkages, was prepared from the ingredients listed in Table 7. The first three ingredients listed in Table 7 were combined and heated to 60°C. The dibutyltin dilaurate was added, the temperature was increased to 80°C and held for two hours. The (meth)acrylic polyol segment (C) was added, and the reaction continued at 80°C for 2 hours. Additional polycarbonate-polyester diol segment (F) was added, and the reaction continued at 80°C for 3.5 hours. The first charge of NMP was added and the reaction continued for 2 hours at 80°C, followed by 6 hours at 90°C. The 1-butanol and the second charge of NMP were added, and the mixture was concentrated to provide a product in the form of a viscous liquid.

Table 7

Segmented Polymer (K)


A methyl-group branched diisocyanate (an approximate 1 : 1 mixture of 2,2,4- and 2,4,4-trimethyl-hexamethylene diisocyanate) from

Evonik Industries.

Segmented Polymer (L):

[157] Segmented polymer (L), which included (meth)acrylic polyol and polycarbonate diol segments covalently bonded together by carbonate linkages, was prepared from the ingredients listed in Table 8. ETERNACOLL® PH-300D polycarbonate diol was dissolved in toluene (100 pbw, as listed in Table 8) and dried by azeotrope. Dimethylamino pyridine was added and the solution was cooled to 4°C. Diethyleneglycol bischloroformate was added followed by a mixture of triethylamine and toluene. The solution was warmed to room temperature over 1 hour and then heated to 30°C for 30 minutes. The solution was cooled to 4°C, (meth)acrylic polyol segment (C) was then added, and a mixture of trimethylamine in toluene was added dropwise followed by toluene. The solution was warmed to 24°C over 75 minutes and 1-butanol (0.4 pbw) and toluene (4.3 pbw) were added. The mixture was heated to 40°C for 30 minutes, then 1-butanol (0.4 pbw) and toluene (4.3 pbw) were added along with triethylamine (0.3 pbw). The contents were heated to 80°C for 1 hour, and then cooled. The cooled resin was diluted with toluene, filtered, diluted with NMP (30 pbw), and concentrated to provide a product in the form of a viscous liquid.

Table 8

Segmented Polymer (L)


A polycarbonate diol with a hydroxyl equivalent weight of 1,516, available from UBE Industries.

Part 2: Curable photochromic compositions.

[158] In Part 2A, as follows, there is provided a description of the preparation of a

Photochromic Solution (A) that was used to prepare comparative and inventive curable photochromic compositions, as described in Part 2B. In Part 2C, there is provided a description of the preparation of test specimens, which include thereon a cured layer formed from the comparative and inventive curable photochromic compositions described in Part 2B.

Part 2A: Preparation of Photochromic Solution (A).

[159] Photochromic Solution (A) was prepared by mixing and warming the materials listed in Table 9 to 40-60°C until all solids were observed to have dissolved.

Table 9

Photochromic Solution (A)


A blend of photochromic indenofused naphthopyran dyes

selected so as to provide a green-gray color.

A hindered amine light stabilizer from BASF: bis(l , 2,2,6,6- pentamethyl-4-piperidinyl)-[[3,5-bis(l ,l-dimethylethyl)-4- hydroxyphenyl]methyl]butylmalonate.

An antioxidant from BASF: triethylene glycol bis(3-tert-butyl- 4-hydroxy-5-methylphenyl)propionate.

Part 2B: Preparation of comparative and inventive curable photochromic compositions.

Comparative Curable Photochromic Compositions:

[160] Comparative curable photochromic compositions (CE-1 , CE-2, and CE-3) were prepared from the components listed in Table 10.

[161] CE-1 is representative of a typical curable photochromic composition, in which the (meth)acrylic polyol and polycarbonate diol segments are added as individual components, and having an NCO:OH ratio of 1.6: 1. CE-2 is representative of a curable photochromic composition, in which (meth)acrylic polyol and polycarbonate diol segments are added as individual components, and having an elevated NCO:OH ratio of 6.8: 1. CE-3 is representative of a curable photochromic composition that includes melamine reactive groups, and in which (meth)acrylic polyol and polycarbonate diol segments are added as individual components.

[162] With reference to Table 10, the components of Charge 1 were added to a suitable flask for each comparative example and mixed at 40-60°C for at least 30 minutes, and then cooled to room temperature. The components of Charge 2 were combined and added to Charge 1. The combined charges were further mixed for a minimum of 30 minutes, and then placed on a WHEATON 348923-A Benchtop Roller, available from Wheaton Industries, Inc., for a minimum of six hours prior to use.

Table 10

Comparative Curable Photochromic Composition Examples


A polycarbonate diol with a hydroxyl equivalent weight of 983, available from UBE Industries.

A polycarbonate diol with a hydroxyl equivalent weight of 1 ,516, available from UBE Industries.

3 A hexamethylene diisocyanate biuret, blocked with 3,5-dimethylpyrazole, available from Baxenden Chemical Co.

4 An imino-type, methylated melamine-formaldehyde resin from INEOS Melamines, LLC.

5 A bismuth carboxylate catalyst from King Industries.

6 A polyether modified polydimethylsiloxane from BYK-Chemie, USA.

A phosphoric acid catalyst, used in melamine compositions, from Allnex.

Curable Photochromic Composition Examples According to the Present Invention:

[163] Inventive curable photochromic composition Examples 4-9 were prepared from the ingredients listed in Table 1 1.

[164] Examples 4 through 7 demonstrate the incorporation of various segmented polymers with a polyisocyanate curing agent. Examples 8 and 9 demonstrate segmented polymers formulated with a melamine (aminoplast) curing agent. The examples were prepared according to the procedure described above for the comparative examples.

Table 11

Inventive Curable Photochromic Composition Exampl

Charge 1

Parts b Wei ht


Charge 2

Parts by Weight

TRIXENE BI-79601 79.5 89.8 92.1 81.9

RESIMENEW 718 53.5 70.1 γ-Glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane 4.6 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.0 3.9

K-KAT 348J 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1

BYK 333 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.08 0.09

CYCAT® 296-95 0.10 0.1 1

A hexamethylene diisocyanate biuret, blocked with 3,5-dimethylpyrazole, available from Baxenden Chemical Co.

An imino-type, methylated melamine-formaldehyde resin from INEOS Melamines, LLC.

A bismuth carboxylate catalyst from King Industries.

A polyether modified polydimethylsiloxane from BYK-Chemie, USA.

A phosphoric acid catalyst, used in melamine compositions, from Allnex.

[165] Further inventive curable photochromic composition examples were prepared by combining appropriate amounts of the High NCO:OH Ratio Composition (i) and the Low NCO:OH ratio Composition (ii) as summarized in the following Table 12, so as to obtain inventive curable photochromic composition Examples 10-15 having the NCO:OH ratios as listed in Table 13. Compositions (i) and (ii) of Table 12 were prepared in accordance with the description provided for Comparative Examples 1-3 and Examples 4-9 above, except that the ingredients of Charge 2 were added subsequent to Charge 1. After their preparation, inventive curable photochromic composition Examples 10-15 were each placed on a WHEATON® 348923-A Benchtop Roller for a minimum of six hours prior to use.

Table 12

Compositions (i) and (ii) Used to Prepare Inventive Curable Photochromic Composition

Examples 10-15 (listed in Table 13).

A hexamethylene diisocyanate biuret, blocked with 3,5-dimethylpyrazole, available from Baxenden Chemical Co.

A bismuth carboxylate catalyst from King Industries.

3

A polyether modified polydimethylsiloxane from BYK-Chemie, USA.

[166] For each of Comparative Examples 1 and 2 and Inventive Examples 4-7 and 10- 15 (which include a polyisocyanate curing agent), the isocyanate to active hydrogen ratio (NCO:OH ratio) was calculated by dividing the centiequivalents of isocyanates in each composition by the total theoretical centiequivalents of active hydrogens in each composition. These results are shown in Table 13.

[167] In Table 13, the weight percentage of the polycarbonate or polycarbonate-polyester segment solids within a segmented polymer was calculated based on the mass of that segment relative to the sum of the (meth)acrylic polyol segment and the polycarbonate or polycarbonate-polyester segments. The weight percent of the polycarbonate or polycarbonate-polyester segment relative to the total curable composition, as recited in Table 13, was calculated based on the total mass of the polycarbonate or polycarbonate-polyester segment solids, either directly as in the Comparative Examples, or as a component of the segmented polymer as in the Inventive Examples 4 through 15. The calculated values are shown in Table 13.

Table 13

Summary of Curable Photochromic Composition Examples


Part 2C: Preparation of Test Specimens.

[168] Each of the curable photochromic composition examples prepared above in Part

2B was applied to a PDQ® coated GENTEX® polycarbonate piano lens (available from Gentex Optics, Inc.) having a diameter of 76 millimeters. All lens substrates were treated with oxygen plasma at a flow rate of 100 milliliters (mL) per minute of oxygen at 100 W of power for three minutes, then coated with each of the curable photochromic composition examples described in Part 2B, by spin coating. About 1-2 mL of each curable photochromic composition was dispensed onto the lens substrate, which was then rotated for 8-12 seconds at a spin speed sufficient to deposit enough wet coating onto the lens, so as to produce similar activated optical densities, as described below in Part 3. The spin coating parameters are reported in Table 14.

Table 14

Spin Coating Parameters and Coating Weights Measured with Regard to the

Preparation of Test Specimens.


[169] The coated lens substrates were prepared in duplicate and designated as "Lens

Set A" and "Lens Set B." The coated lens substrates were then placed in a 40°C oven until all coated lens substrates were accumulated. The 40°C treated coated lens substrates were then cured in a forced air oven at 125°C for one hour, and subsequently cooled to room temperature. The test specimens of Lens Set A were then subjected to an additional thermal cure for three hours at 105°C and set aside for evaluation of hardness. The test specimens of Lens Set B were further treated with oxygen plasma as previously described and coated with HI-GARD® 1080S hard-coat, a protective coating available from PPG Industries, Inc. The HI-GARD® 1080S hard-coat was applied by spin coating, and then each lens (of Lens Set B) was further cured at 105°C for three hours. The final lenses (test specimens) of Lens Set B were then evaluated for photochromic properties.

Part 3: Test Methods and Test Results of the Test Specimens Prepared in Part 2.

[170] Test specimens of Lens Set A were subjected to microhardness testing using a Fischerscope HCV, Model H100SMC apparatus (available from Fischer Technology, Inc.) at a penetration depth of 2 microns after a 100 Newton load for 15 seconds. Each test specimen was measured from 2 to 5 times and the microhardness results were averaged, and are tabulated in Table 15.

[171] The photochromic performance of the test specimens of Lens Set B was tested on the Bench for Measuring Photochromies ("BMP") made by Essilor, Ltd. France. The BMP was maintained at a constant temperature of 23°C during testing. Prior to testing on the BMP, each of the test specimens was exposed to 365 nm ultraviolet light for about 10 minutes at a distance of about 14 centimeters, to activate the photochromic materials. The UVA (315 nm to 380 nm) irradiance at the test specimen was measured with a LICOR® Model Li- 1800 spectroradiometer and found to be 22.2 W/m2. Each test specimen was then placed under a 500 W, high intensity halogen lamp for about 10 minutes at a distance of about 36 centimeters to bleach (inactivate) the photochromic materials. The illuminance at the test specimen was measured with the LICOR® spectroradiometer and found to be 21.9 Klux. Each test specimen was then kept in a dark environment at room temperature (from 21°C to 24°C) for at least one hour prior to testing on the BMP. Prior to measurement, each test specimen was measured for ultraviolet absorbance at 390 nm.

[172] The BMP was fitted with two 150W Newport Model #6255 Xenon arc lamps set at right angles to each other. The light path from Lamp 1 was directed through a 3mm SCHOTT^ KG-2 band -pass filter and appropriate neutral density filters that contributed to the required UV and partial visible light irradiance level. The light path from Lamp 2 was directed through a 3 mm SCHOTT^ KG-2 band-pass filter, a SCHOTT^ short band 400 nm cutoff filter, and appropriate neutral density filters in order to provide supplemental visible light illuminance. A 2 inch x 2 inch (5.1 cm x 5.1 cm) 50% polka dot beam splitter set at 45° to each lamp is used to mix the two beams. The combination of neutral density filters and voltage control of the Xenon arc lamp were used to adjust the intensity of the irradiance. Software (BMPSoft version 2.1e) was used on the BMP to control timing, irradiance, air cell and sample temperatures, shuttering, filter selection, and response measurement. A ZEISS spectrophotometer, Model MCS 601 with fiber optic cables for light delivery through the lens, was used for response and color measurement. Photopic response measurements were collected on each test specimen.

[173] The power output of the BMP (i.e., the dosage of light that the test specimen was exposed to) was adjusted to 6.7 W/m UVA, integrated from 315-380 nm, and 50 Klux illuminance, integrated from 380-780 nm. Measurement of this power set-point was made using an irradiance probe and the calibrated Zeiss spectrophotometer. The lens (test specimen) sample cell was fitted with a quartz window and self-centering sample holder. The temperature in the sample cell was controlled at 23 °C through the software with a modified Facis, Model FX- 10 environment simulator. Measurement of the dynamic photochromic response and color of the test specimen were made using the same Zeiss spectrophotometer with fiber optic cables for light delivery from a tungsten halogen lamp through the sample. The collimated monitoring light beam from the fiber optic cable was maintained perpendicular to the test sample while passing through the test specimen and directed into a receiving fiber optic cable assembly attached to the spectrophotometer. The exact point of placement of the test specimen in the sample cell was where the activating xenon arc beam and the monitoring light beam intersected to form two concentric circles of light. The angle of incidence of the xenon arc beam at the test specimen placement point was about 30° from perpendicular.

[174] Response measurements, in terms of a change in optical density (AOD) from the unactivated (bleached) state to the activated (colored) state, were determined by establishing the initial unactivated transmittance then opening the shutter from the Xenon lamp(s) and measuring the transmittance through activation at selected intervals of time. Change in optical density was determined according to the formula: AOD = logl0(%Tb/%Ta), where %Tb is the percent transmittance in the bleached state and %Ta is the percent transmittance in the activated state. Optical density measurements were based on photopic optical density.

[175] The results of the microhardness, Fade Half Life (Ti/2), and AOD at saturation testing are shown in Table 15. The AOD at saturation is after 15 minutes of activation. The Fade Half Life (T½) value is the time interval in seconds for the AOD of the activated form of the photochromic material in the coating to reach one half the fifteen-minute AOD at 23°C after removal of the activating light source.

Table 15

Results of Coating Hardness and Photochromic Performance Testing.


[176] The test results as tabulated in Table 15 demonstrate that curable photochromic compositions according to the present invention, which include a segmented polymer(s), provide cured photochromic layers (such as cured photochromic coating layers) having a combination of improved photochromic performance (such as reduced Ti/2 values) and equivalent to improved surface hardness, as compared to comparative cured photochromic layers prepared from comparative curable photochromic compositions that include the separate polymer segments of the segmented polymers.

[177] The present invention can be further characterized by one or more of the following non-limiting clauses:

[178] Clause 1 : A curable photochromic composition comprising:

(a) a photochromic compound;

(b) a segmented polymer comprising active hydrogen groups, at least one first segment, and at least one second segment, wherein,

(i) each first segment independently comprises a (meth)acrylic polymer segment, and

(ii) each second segment independently comprises at least one of, a polycarbonate segment, a polyester segment, a polyether segment, a polyurethane segment, and combinations of two or more thereof; and

(c) a curing agent comprising reactive functional groups that are reactive with the active hydrogen groups of the segmented polymer, wherein the curing agent comprises at least one of, a polyisocyanate, a polyisothiocyanate, and an aminoplast.

[179] Clause 2: The curable photochromic composition of clause 1 , wherein,

the segmented polymer has an active hydrogen equivalent weight of from 1000 to 7000 g/eq, and

each active hydrogen group of the segmented polymer is independently selected from hydroxyl, thiol, primary amine, and secondary amine.

[180] Clause 3: The curable photochromic composition of clauses 1 or 2, wherein each active hydrogen group of the segmented polymer is hydroxyl.

[181] Clause 4: The curable photochromic composition of clauses 1, 2, or 3, wherein at least one first segment and at least one second segment are covalently bonded to each other by a linking group selected from the group consisting of a carboxylic acid ester linking group, a thioester linking group, an amide linking group, a urethane linking group, a thiourethane linking group, a urea linking group, a thiourea linking group, a carbonate linking group, an ether linking group, and a thioether linking group.

[182] Clause 5: The curable photochromic composition of at least one of clauses 1-4, wherein the second segment is present in the segmented polymer in an amount of from 60 percent by weight to 95 percent by weight, based on total weight of the segmented polymer.

[183] Clause 6: The curable photochromic composition of at least one of clauses 1-5, wherein the curable photochromic composition comprises a total amount of second segments of from 20 percent by weight to 50 percent by weight, based on total solids weight of the curable photochromic composition.

[184] Clause 7: The curable photochromic composition of at least one of clauses 1-6, wherein each second segment independently comprises at least one of, a polycarbonate segment, a polycarbonate-polyester segment, a polycarbonate -polyurethane segment, and a polycarbonate-polyester-polyurethane segment.

[185] Clause 8: The curable photochromic composition of at least one of clauses 1-7 wherein,

the curing agent comprises at least one of the polyisocyanate and the polyisothiocyanate,

each reactive functional group of the curing agent is independently selected from isocyanate and isothiocyanate, and

a molar ratio of reactive functional groups of the curing agent to active hydrogen groups of the segmented polymer is at least 5: 1.

[186] Clause 9: The curable photochromic composition of at least one of clauses 1-8, wherein the molar ratio of reactive functional groups of the curing agent to active hydrogen groups of the segmented polymer is at least 6: 1 and less than or equal to 60: 1.

[187] Clause 10: The curable photochromic composition of clause 8 wherein, the curing agent comprises the polyisocyanate, and each reactive functional group of the curing agent is selected from isocyanate.

[188] Clause 1 1 : The curable photochromic composition of clause 10, wherein the polyisocyanate comprises at least one of, linear or branched aliphatic polyisocyanates, cycloaliphatic polyisocyanates, dimers thereof, and trimers thereof.

[189] Clause 12: The curable photochromic composition of clause 10, wherein at least some of the reactive functional groups of the curing agent are blocked with a blocking agent, and each blocking agent is independently selected from the group consisting of methylethyl ketoxime, pyrazole, and dialkyl pyrazole.

[190] Clause 13: The curable photochromic composition of at least one of clauses 1- 12, wherein the photochromic compound is selected from the group consisting of naphthopyrans, benzopyrans, phenanthropyrans, indenonaphthopyrans, spiro(indoline)naphthoxazines, spiro(indoline)pyridobenzoxazines, spiro(benzindoline)pyridobenzoxazines, spiro(benzindoline)naphthoxazines,

spiro(indoline)-benzoxazines, fulgides, fulgimides, and mixtures of such photochromic compounds.

[191] Clause 14: An article comprising:

(A) a substrate; and

(B) a photochromic layer over at least one surface of the substrate, wherein the photochromic layer is formed from the curable photochromic composition of at least one of clauses 1-13.

[192] Clause 15: A photochromic multilayer article comprising at least one photochromic layer formed from the curable photochromic composition of at least one of clauses 1-13.

[193] The present invention has been described with reference to specific details of particular embodiments thereof. It is not intended that such details be regarded as limitations upon the scope of the invention except insofar as and to the extent that they are included in the accompanying claims.