Any plans for another silver nitrate mirror (ornament) class in the foreseeable future? Thanks.
Didn’t ask when I took the class: Is there a way to do flat pieces? Thinking making candle/LED reflectors out of lab watch glasses:
I saw a good YouTube video where they just dipped a microscope slide in the solution. So … yes, it ought to be possible.
I suspect that the ornament is just a convenient way to do the coating without requiring an auxiliary vessel.
I’ll list one on the calendar, although I’ll be out of town until Oct 15. I tried flat pieces pieces of glass with so so results, but didn’t do any further research or troubleshooting.
Edit: Ooh just saw the link, thanks for posting.
We also have silver plating now available
Anodizing–where you electroplate lead oxide onto Aluminum and then die the white coating whatever color you want (for our optical fixtures it will be very Black).
Aluminum Sputtering. Dr. Rad just brought in a f’in Huge vacuum vessel, which could be used to fine coat a 16 inch telescope mirror. 1st surface mirrors and coatings are done in vacuum chambers. Science now has the big guns.
I just posted an ornament mirroring class for Oct 16 at 11:00 AM.
The class is live at this link. Thank you.
So after the fact, here is what we learned:
- The silver film wipes off if you touch it, even gently. I had to lacquer the silver film to use it.
- The process is only suitable for “rear surface” mirror (i.e., looking through the glass into the silver). The “front surface” of the mirror is discolored and slightly bumpy.
- You have to be fast. The silver precipitates out of the solution quickly. Even if you have enough solution left over to do a second item, you won’t have enough time.
- A fresh NaOH solution is important.
A few people have expressed interest in silvering objects. The real way to do it is in a vacuum chamber, using RF sputtering (it’s like spray painting with metals). You can lay down near perfect layers and coatings of surprisingly accurate thicknesses, which means they can take on colors.
We are bringing a large vacuum chamber online, and the RF electronics to sputter are not a big deal in this age of Mosfets and IGBTs. I think we should consider taking a look at doing some coatings.
I would love to do this and was always hoping that science would get the vacuum pumps working. I did donate a 1kV PSU to assist this effort. Let me know how I can help.