Living in the modern world is certainly inseparable from the use of electronic devices. And, most of us might not know that almost all electronic devices that we use everyday contain gold, especially devices with microprocessors.
The role of gold in electronics is indeed very important and cannot be replaced, even by other similar precious metals. Why? Here’s why!
- Highly Efficient Conductor
Gold is used as the main material for conducting electricity because of its exceptional conductivity. These conductive properties can ensure efficient energy flow within electronic devices, reduce energy loss in the form of heat, and allow electronic devices to operate at lower temperatures.
In fact, copper is a better electrical conductor than gold because it has lower electrical resistivity. However, unlike gold which is also highly malleable and easy to form, copper is relatively inflexible. This of course is difficult when producing small circuits.
- Very Stable
Gold has high resistance to oxidation and corrosion. Thus, gold is an ideal choice for electronic devices that are expected to function over a long period of time. In fact, the gold component in damaged electronic devices can still be recycled. This proves that gold can last for a long time under any conditions!
- High Optical Reflectivity
Gold has a very high optical reflectivity, especially in the infrared spectrum. This makes gold a popular choice to use in detection sensors, photodetectors and lasers. In devices such as digital cameras, the use of gold in the reflector layer helps increase the sensitivity and quality of the resulting images.
- Aesthetics and Durability
Also important, gold is used in electronics because of its beauty and excellent durability. In electronic devices, gold is often used as an external coating to give a luxurious appearance and maintain the physical quality of the device from corrosion.
- Survive in Extreme Environments
Gold is known as the least chemically reactive element. In other words, gold doesn’t react easily with other materials, even in humid conditions. In the space industry, gold is often used in a number of equipment, including spacecraft. That’s because gold can withstand harsh environments.
Since gold is one of the most favored components of electronic devices, it makes electronic waste processing an important source of income and livelihood. Especially, the gold components in electronic devices have a gold content of 99%, this is purer than gold jewelry.
The first step is disassembling the electronic devices so we can get an iron plate which is usually called a processor. From the iron plate, sort out a number of components that you feel can be processed into gold. The next step is burning the components using welding and dipping them in a hot tin. Then, the gold elements will appear. Not only gold, there are also silver and copper components.
The gold element will then melt down to make gold coins which are ready to be sold to gold shops.