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N. Thornton Lipscomb


N. Thornton Lipscomb
Division: Organic Chemistry
Specialty: Physical Polymer Chemistry
Phone: 502-852-5969

Education and Research Experience

1956 B.S.   Eastern Kentucky University
1961 Ph.D. University of Louisville

Research Interests

The Production of Eyeglass Lenses by UV Photosensitized Polymerization

At the present time plastic eyeglass lenses are produced by grinding plastic blanks. This research is focused on molding plastic lenses that would require grinding. The technique involves adding a photosensitizer to the monomer mixture. The mixture is then placed in a glass mold and exposed to UV light. The photosensitizer is activated by the UV light and initiates polymerization. When the lens is removed from the mold it has all the qualities of a finished lens. (It is hard, rigid, clear, and optically perfect.) The present research deals with several facets: Possible directions of research are (1) monomer synthesis: preparation of new monomers that would produce polymers that have certain characteristics such as high refractive indices, stability with acids or bores, resistance to degradation from heat or light, and high clarity. Monomers that shrink little or none in polymerization are also of interest. Other directions include (2) copolymerization. Parameters to explore include monomer type and concentration, UV intensity, and temperature. The understanding of how the individual monomers polymerize together and how each affects the properties of the polymer is the goal.

Publications (recent or significant)

A Plastic Lens Composition and a Method of Production Thereof
N. T. Lipscomb, O. M. Buazza
U.S. Patent 4.879.318 (1989). (Issued 1991).

Method and Apparatus for the Production of Plastic Lenses
N. T. Lipscomb, O. M. Buazza, S. C. Luetke, and J. J. Robinson
U.S. Patent App. 07/642,614, (1991).

Plastic Lens Composition and Method of Production Thereof
N. T. Lipscomb, O. M. Buazza
U.S. Pattent App. 07/425,371 (1989).
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