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Electroless Deposition of Copper: Nano-scale topography from Micro-scale kinetics This approach has allowed the synergistic effect of the D. Plana, R.A.W. Dryfe, S.D. Patole and G. Shul half-reactions on one another to be quantified for a University of Manchester specific electroless system (deposition of Cu on Au, using School of Chemistry, Oxford Road, Manchester dimethylamine borane, DMAB) as a reducing agent. M13 9PL, UNITED KINGDOM Linear growth rates are found with the electroless bath for the Cu-DMAB system, with an apparent induction time of The process of electroless deposition, although widely the order of 30 s: the growth rate, growth law and the used technologically, is poorly understood on a induction time all change when deposition is performed in mechanistic level. Open questions concerning the process the bipolar cell of Figure 1, compared to the electroless include: what is the extent of interaction between the bath. reduction (metal deposition) process and the oxidation In addition to the kinetic data, we have also studied the reaction of the reducing agent ? Electrochemical evolution of the Cu deposit morphology, in particular the techniques can probe the individual redox processes, but effect on morphology of use of the separate (bipolar) cell, the synergy between the two reactions that is believed to compared to the electroless bath. In situ and ex situ occur in actual electroless baths is lost. We have recently atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been used as the developed a method based on a bipolar cell as a probe of probe here, an example micrograph is shown in Figure 2. electroless bath chemistry . The deposition rate measured in the bipolar cell, which is illustrated in Figure 1, can be compared with the rate obtained in standard electroless baths. Importantly, the potential difference of the bipolar cell can be biased, to probe the sensitivity of the overall electroless process to potential. References: 1. H. Wiese, K.G. Weil, Ber. Bunsen. Phys. Chem., Figure 1: Bipolar cell configuration used to probe 91 (1987) 619. electroless deposition. 2. D. Plana, G. Shul, M.J. Stephenson and R.A.W. Dryfe, Electrochem. Comm., 11 (2009) 61. Figure 2: AFM of Cu deposited from electroless bath on Au foil, using DMAB as reducing agent.
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