Recently I have been trying to find out more about the process that is used to coat glasses lenses with gold. I asked about it in another forum last night and I was directed here. I initially thought that I could use the same process that NASA used to coat astronaut's helmet visors in gold, but now that is too expensive of a process. I want a thin transparent layer of gold on my glasses (lenses) basically. I have access to jewelry equipment.

  • $\begingroup$ I expect it is vapor deposition done in a good vacuum; Do you have that ? $\endgroup$ Jan 4 '18 at 16:52
  • $\begingroup$ I might be able to get access, but I am still looking for other methods. Like rolling out gold leaf even. I'm not sure if I could roll it thin enough but there must be a better way $\endgroup$ Jan 4 '18 at 16:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There is almost no way to do this in your home, you'll never get gold leaf thin enough to see through. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Jan 4 '18 at 18:08
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, good to know about gold leaf. $\endgroup$ Jan 4 '18 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ Also I go to a school that has some equipment. I was going to try to use that, I don't have anything close at home anyway $\endgroup$ Jan 4 '18 at 18:51

You will have to use vapor deposition under high vacuum. This requires a piston vacuum pump to get a rough vacuum, then a turbomolecular or diffusion pump to get to high vacuum. Then heat gold in this vacuum till it melts. Gold vapor will deposit a thin layer on all surfaces of the container including your glasses.

glasslinger demonstrates vapor deposition with gold on youtube

While possible, it is not easy and it will probably cost less to get it done professionally by an optical coatings company than the gold you will waste in your attempts.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you know of any company that does this? Also are you certain that a 1 atom layer of something like graphene won't work (as a base layer for electroplating)? $\endgroup$ Jan 11 '18 at 1:57
  • $\begingroup$ google.com/search?&q=optical+coating+service If you have a way of adding an optically clear conductive layer to the lenses you can probably electroplate them. Depositing graphene sounds harder than gold vapor deposition lol. Maybe if you start with aluminum mylar glasses they might conduct out of the box. Caswell plating has some good kits and resources for electroplating; caswellplating.com/electroplating-anodizing/gold-plating-kits/… $\endgroup$
    – ericnutsch
    Jan 11 '18 at 2:04
  • $\begingroup$ What do you think about this YouTube video: how to make graphene with soap, water, and a blender youtu.be/_FlCvZvzDPM $\endgroup$ Jan 11 '18 at 2:08
  • $\begingroup$ I'm just not sure how you would get it to stick to the glasses. I'm sure there is a way to do what you want with electroplating, you are just going to need a lot more chemistry background than I have to pull it off. $\endgroup$
    – ericnutsch
    Jan 11 '18 at 2:45
  • $\begingroup$ Do you think a transparent spray on adhesive would work, or maybe a if I could find some kind of conductive adhesive? $\endgroup$ Jan 11 '18 at 3:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.