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Sulfur and Tin did not mix ... (trying to make DIY phosphor) Answered

Hi ...

Here is an other "failed experiment" ...

I tried to mix Sulfur and Tin with the hope to make a ZnS phosphor ... (Yes, I know ... I confused Sn and Zn)

So, indeed, when I poured some Sulfur powder over my melting Tin, the Sulfur melted, boiled and vaporized ...

Ok. Now my question :
If I pour some Sulfur powder over melting Zinc, will Sulfur vaporize, or will I get some ZnS ?
(actual question : is there a simple non industrial mean to make ZnS phosphor ?)

=o]

26 Replies

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NoerA1 (author)2015-09-12

Sorry, this method may be stupid, but did you ever tried to mix zinc powder with sulfuric acid ?

maybe it's work

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dailone (author)2010-08-19
Sulfur powder http://www.be-longgroup.com/ and Tin can not made ZnS,

ZnS, Insoluble in water, soluble in acid. See the sun dark discoloration. Long home moist air into zinc sulfate. Generally the role of hydrogen sulfide and zinc salt solution obtained. If the crystal ZnS adding trace amounts of Cu, Mn, Ag activator done by light, the sounds of different colors of fluorescence. Reagents used for analysis, coatings, manufacturing paints, white and opaque glass, filled rubber, plastics, and for the preparation of phosphors. The sulfur obtained by heating with zinc. so your Method can't successful!

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Kiteman (author)2008-01-11

I'd be tempted to mix powdered tin and sulphur and then light it. A similar mixture of zinc and sulphur is a form of solid rocket fuel.

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chooseausername (author)Kiteman2008-01-11

I'd be tempted to mix powdered tin and sulphur and then light it.

Ah yes ! This remind me an experiment when I was at school ... Sulfur powder + a metal powder (aluminium ?) was lightened with a Bunsen torch, and the powder mix burned slowly in an exothermic reaction, giving a strange solid substance as result ...

A similar mixture of zinc and sulphur is a form of solid rocket fuel.

Should I be prepared for an explosive reaction ?... =o/

Anyway, as I don't have zinc, this will postpone this experimentation ...

Zinc Sulfide (ZnS) seems to be the easiest phosphor I could make ...

ZnS:Cu = greenish
ZnS:Ag = bluish
(Strangely, the red or white are not that easy to obtain ....)

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Kiteman (author)chooseausername2008-01-12

Could it have been iron filings? It's a standard practical in UK schools - a mixtures of sulphur and iron is easily separated, say with a magnet, electrostatic charge or dissolving the sulphur in acetone, but heat the mixture in a test-tube, an exothermic chain-reaction turns the mixture into a lump of non-magnetic, insoluble iron-sulphide (it's a way of demonstrating how combining elements into compounds gives us the wide range of phyical properties of the substances we see).

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chooseausername (author)Kiteman2008-01-12

Could it have been iron filings?

It's possible ... I don't really remember.
I think it was mainly related to Moles and Avogadro's number.

Thanks for reminding me this "recipe" =o)
I can't wait to find zinc ...

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user

Been reading through this thread and find there is no mention about whether (or not) any of the above mentioned phosphors will luminesce when irradiated with an 2 MeV electron beam. Any ideas?

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Berkin (author)chooseausername2008-10-29

You can get zinc powder by grinding down the inner metallic casing of a zinc-carbon dry cell battery. Don't confuse this with that black rod in the middle of the cell, though! That's made of carbon. Also, the powdery and slightly moist stuff around the rod is manganese dioxide.

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Plasmana (author)Berkin2009-01-28

I have a question, when the zinc of the dry cell battery corrodes, it forms some kind of brittle white stuff, what is it?

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Berkin (author)Plasmana2009-01-28

That is zinc oxide, which is formed when zinc metal combines with oxygen, yielding the white deposits.

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Plasmana (author)Berkin2009-01-29

Thanks for telling me! And does zinc oxide have any useful uses?

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Berkin (author)Plasmana2009-01-29

Well, you could mix some into a simple flash powder, and it will make the flame turn turquoise-blue. Be careful not to breath that stuff in, though! It's not exactly friendly with your respiratory system...

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Kiteman (author)Plasmana2009-01-28

If it's corroding in the air, it will be zinc oxide. If it's corroding on contact with the paste inside the cell, it might be zinc chloride.

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Plasmana (author)Kiteman2009-01-29

I think it is zinc oxide, thanks for telling me!

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Xellers (author)2009-01-28

I'm interested in an x-ray detector, and apart from sawing apart a CRT screen and slapping a solar panel onto it with an amplifier, and blocking it off from light, can I make "ZnS" at home easily? I know it glows when hit my x-rays or gamma rays, so I can just put some onto some phototransistors.

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westfw (author)2008-01-12

> Should I be prepared for an explosive reaction ?... =o/

Um. Yes. A mixtures of zinc and sulfer powders burns quite violently, and will easily explode SOMETHING if confined.

I've heard of homemade calcium sulfide (another phosphor) made by strongly heating a mixture of crushed oyster shells and sulfer; perhaps it's not necessary to start with metalic zinc?

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chooseausername (author)westfw2008-01-13

I've heard of homemade calcium sulfide (another phosphor) made by strongly heating a mixture of crushed oyster shells and sulfer;

This reminds me something too ... I'm sure I read something about that somewhere before ...
I'm trying to find it on google.

Thanks for the info =o)

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user

This reminds me something too ...

I've found it !
It's here where I read it : http://www.teralab.co.uk/Experiments/Luminescence/Luminescence_Page1.htm
The link to this great site was in my favorites .........

calcium sulfide was found to give much brighter luminescence. It was first created by mixing ground up oyster shells with sulfur and heating the mixture

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chooseausername (author)2008-01-26

On this site, this man made mini CRT : http://www.sparkbangbuzz.com/crt/crt6.htm

As phosphor powder he simply salvaged phosphor powders from broken fluorescent lights, that he mixed with water to make a paint ...
He also say that Clorox laundry bleach powder will fluoresce in the electron beam.
I'll have to do some research to find a local equivalent of this product. =o)

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user

Most laundry detergents fluoresce in UV light, because they have phosphors ;-)

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user

Yes, that's the whiter than white effect ;oP But I'm wondering if all of them will emit light when hit by an electron or stimulated by an alternating electric field ... :o/

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user

depends where you live. in quebec, its becoming harder and harder to find phosphors because of the alge problems (caused by farmers and blammed on detergents).

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VIRON (author)2008-01-15

I once successfully made ZnS but it was not phosphorescent. I used 15,000 Volts to ignite it. There was some copper in it which made me wonder what the secret was, since the phosphorescent mixture is "copper doped zinc sulfide". Look for "glow powder" on ebay. The Europium stuff lasts all night if it's green and it comes in almost every other color, it's "new". The calcium sulfide from seashells sounds interesting. I want to find out more about that. *TIN SULPHIDE is alchemist's gold. I tried to make that too, but the reaction apparently didn't happen or is not stoichiometric, because it made grey stuff that keeps stinking like rotten eggs. I wonder if I can make a ring out of IRON SULFIDE (fools gold). Warning:Caution: respect the chemicals and don't poison, burn, or blind yourselves. (cough,cough! - those sulfur fumes are Nasty like battery acid!) Sulfur can be molded with aluminum foil into "yellow plastic" things which is cool, or not so cool because of the fumes and fire hazard.

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chooseausername (author)VIRON2008-01-16

I've found a recipe for ZnS:Cu in the US patent #2,743,238
http://www.google.com/patents?id=zwRuAAAAEBAJ&dq=patent:2743238

It's technically slightly more complicated than what I hoped ... =o]

About oyster shells, I found no more info yet ... Maybe there is an US patent too ?

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Patrik (author)2008-01-12

Make sure your work area is very well ventilated when you're melting zinc, though! Zinc fumes are toxic, and have been known to kill careless metal casters.

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chooseausername (author)Patrik2008-01-13

Oh, I did not know ! Thanks for this warning (you probably preventively saved my life)

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