Gold Plasma

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Tyler Meagher
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Real name: Tyler Meagher

Gold Plasma

Post by Tyler Meagher » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:58 am

I wanted to make some plasma with my vacuum pump. I used the magical gold plasma machine. I put a silver coin into the plasma and it turned gold. Sometime later I’ll figure out how it works.

Coin before.png
Coin before
Magical plasma
Coin After.png
Coin after

Jerry Biehler
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Re: Gold Plasma

Post by Jerry Biehler » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:35 am

You sputtered a thin layer of something on there.

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Real name: Samuel Berman
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Gold Plasma

Post by SamuelBerman » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:58 pm

I can think of two other ways in which the color could have been created:

1. Some coins have copper on the inside and just a thin plating of the silver colored surface finish. When heated, the copper can alloy with the surface material and create a gold colored layer.

2. It could be an oxide layer, but since this is under vacuum that is unlikely. However, I guess it could happen if you removed the coins while they were still hot or left them in for a long time?

Just some of my thoughts.
Samuel Berman

Bruce Meagher
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Re: Gold Plasma

Post by Bruce Meagher » Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:53 pm

The machine is a small gold sputter coater. Turning pure silver coins into gold... now that's just straight up good magic.

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Richard Hull
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Re: Gold Plasma

Post by Richard Hull » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:18 pm

Yeah, some deposition tinting the coin. Will a good rub with silver polish remove the patina?

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

John Futter
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Re: Gold Plasma

Post by John Futter » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:30 am

Yes it will
that unit is made for coating SEM samples that are not conductive so that there is no charge build up and the gold ions arrive with almost no energy so that especially biological tissue does not get damaged
This of course means that there was not enough eV to do a chemical bond so that the film does not become part of the surface

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Rich Feldman
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Re: Gold Plasma

Post by Rich Feldman » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:26 pm

How about measuring the gold thickness progression at home?

You could sputter onto glass. Then compare optical density of the film with some handy reference.

Or open up a crystal oscillator (or plain frequency control crystal), and watch the frequency change as gold piles onto the quartz.
That principle is used in some industrial deposition monitors. Beware of the thin film electrically shorting the circuit.
All models are wrong; some models are useful. -- George Box

Bruce Meagher
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Re: Gold Plasma

Post by Bruce Meagher » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:23 pm

Great suggestions Rich. Two experiments to add to the list.


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