Grow Silver Crystals by Electrochemistry

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Introduction: Grow Silver Crystals by Electrochemistry

About: NurdRage is a dedicate group of science nerds trying to further amateur science with direct how-to instructions in video format. We saw what was already online and we thought "we could do better".....

In this video we grow crystals of pure silver metal by electochemistry.

The procedure is fairly simple. Just apply an electric current between a silver anode and an aluminum or silver metal cathode while they are immersed in silver nitrate solution. The silver ions from the anode will deposit on the cathode.

The crystals are microscopic so to see them the solution is placed under a microscope. A glass slide may be placed over the solution to keep the surface flat so you can see it better.

The crystals grow in different shapes depending on concentration and current applied.

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    32 Comments

    Silver copper pipe results. Silver Oxide. Ag2O.

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    SIlver(II) oxide plating with copper electrodes, copper pipes, zinc sulfate-lye-silver nitrate solution.

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    cool vid,
    what are the chances of growing one or two large crystals by using a very low volatge over a long time (a week or something).

    also i have two random questions,

    i was try ing some different kinds of electrolsis,
    both had salt watere soutions
    one has a copper andode and copper cathode
    the other had a iorn anode and cathode

    with the copper i got yellow/brown particals that setled to to the bottom and a thin light blue layer formed

    with the the iron a very very dark particals (very small)

    my question is what did the electrolsis produse in both cases, and any chance of an equation for both of them??

    4 replies

    Hydrogen and Oxygen gas the rest is waste.

    not trying to be rude, but i know that much,
    i want to know the by products,

    you never know if they might be "useful"

    and they kind of make up 10% - 20 % of what left over

    think the copper is a mxture of copper oxide (I) and some thing

    the iorn one is a mixture of iorn oxide and something (some changed collour when it dried)


    i was just wondering what the stuff is ?

    Your right, I too have done this multiple times, The copper is copper oxide, with is obtained by having an over-potential such that the copper hydroxide is reduced to copper oxide. You can prevent the formation of these by using a buffer. the iron is most likely rust that has been oxidized a second time to make Iron (3/4) oxide. Iron 3 oxide is usually green though. try using a different acid to form your salts and you also need to buffer the solution with some kind of cation. I used acetic acid for awhile, but have found a mixture of boric acid and oxylic acid to be more effective. I also mix in a little ethylene-glycol to help balance the reaction as it progresses.

    the light blue layer may have been zinc buildup accelerated by the electrolysis and copper. just a guess though.

    I have the same problem. The salt one just isn't the same. Did you figure it out?

    yes but you will only lose money with it.
    you buy the silver wire (a finished product) and resell raw silver crystals (an unfinished product) and you'll also need to pay for the used electricity

    unless you use a catalyst with familiar properties of the 4 elements of which ever is closer, or alchemy so to speak hmm

    I'd love to do this but I was wondering if it grows enough to see without a microscope, like the size of a pebble or a large grain of Epsom salt, please answer and btw so cool!

    love it, followed you for a long while elsewhere good to find out you are here.

    As we say in Ireland "Be gob, yer some man for one man" It was a right bit of craic watching that video.WELL DONE !!.
    When I subscribed to this site I signed up for two years and the admin. chap sent a geansai-load of "kudos" to give to people whose stuff impressed me.As soon as I find out how to distribute them you are first in line.
    Silver Daddyo

    Well, i can see it isn't real-time but how long?

    BTW how long does this take? Is the video real-time?

    Incredible work. Congrats

    Just wondering... could this be used to recover silver from film processing chemicals?