The influence of composition on the optical properties of electrodeposited gold
In industry the colour of a gold alloy electrodeposit is checked by visual comparison with standard panels. The aims of the present work have been to access the application of spectrophotmetric techniques to the measurement of the colour of gold alloy electrodeposits and to examine the factors that influence the colour of thin deposits. The minimum thickness of deposit required to produce its final colour and completely hide the underlying substrate was measured and found to depend on the nature of the substrate, the plating solution and the operating conditions. Bright and matt electrodeposits were studied. The influence of alloying gold by adding copper, silver and indium to the plating solution were investigated. CIE chromaticity coordinates were calculated from spectrophotometric data using a computer programme written for the purpose. The addition of silver to a simple gold bath caused the colour of the deposit to change from yellow through green to near white in a smooth progression as the amount of silver in solid solution steadily increased. The colour of deposits formed when additions of copper were made was complicated by the formation of intermediate phases. À colour in the blue region of the spectrum was obtained in a few experiments investigating the influence of indium additions to the gold bath.