Silver lining

Oxford Advanced Surfaces has developed a 1nm thick, environmentally friendly coating that acts to prevent silver tarnishing.


Oxford Advanced Surfaces (OAS), a UK-based materials company, has developed a 1nm thick, environmentally friendly coating that acts to prevent silver tarnishing.


The effect of atmospheric pollutants on the surface of exposed metals can result in the formation of a number of unwanted compounds causing tarnishing of the surface.


‘Tarnishing is not just aesthetically unpleasant – it also degrades the electronic and optical properties of the metal surface, and is therefore a causal factor in the reliability of LEDs, lighting, printed circuit boards (PCBs) and electronic components,’ said Mike Edwards, vice-president of sales and marketing at OAS.


Current technologies addressing this problem have many disadvantages or are uneconomical, preventing wide-scale implementation, particularly in electronic applications.


That is not the case with OAS’s new Onto coating, which doesn’t impede electrical connectivity, is thermally stable up to 250°C and is applied via a simple wet coating approach, offering a solution to a number of problems in the electronics and lighting industries.


Potential applications include industrial, household and automotive lighting systems, silver conductors throughout the electronics industry and other applications where silver or other valuable metals need to be protected from tarnishing.


The company is seeking new partners for either tailored development or straight license of the silver anti-tarnish technology for use in their products and processes.