Epner Technology Produces NIST New Gold Standard

The Brooklyn-based Epner says the process is unique in that it is both ultra-pure at 0.9999, while also bring three times harder than any other 24 Kt. gold.


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Epner Technology says the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) selected its proprietary Laser Gold electroplating process as the new gold standard for infrared reflectivity.

The Brooklyn-based Epner says the process is unique in that it is both ultrapure at 0.9999, while also being three times harder than any other 24 kt. gold.

David Epner, president of Epner Technology, says that NIST calibrated some 20 copper mirror substrates that had been single-point diamond fly cut to a surface roughness of 50 angstroms (Å) by the German-based Kugler Group. They were then plated with pure nickel, followed by Laser Gold, each about a micron thick.

The Gaithersburg, Maryland, laboratory in which the reflectance measurements are preformed is the Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophotometry facility. The specific instrument used to measure the standards is the Infrared Reference Integrating Sphere. Epner says the result was 99 percent throughout the midinfrared, the range of from 2 to 14 microns. The new gold standard entered the NIST catalog of Standard Reference Material as SRM 1929.

Epner says NASA has been using Laser Gold for about 35 years because of its peerless heat-reflecting properties. It has specified the process for thermal control on several spacecraft instruments on early weather satellites, the Hubble camera housing and, more recently, on both the near and midinfrared cameras aboard the James Webb Space Telescope.

“Laser Gold came to the attention of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” he says. “This hard, pure, space-qualified gold plating has been dressing the Oscars for the last three award seasons.”

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