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Oscillatory Copper Deposition on Conical Iron Electrodes in a Nonuniform Magnetic Field
We report the effect of a magnetic field on the deposition of copper ions on a conically shaped iron probe. In our setup, the magnetic forces and buoyancy are the key factors influencing the electrolyte flow and the mass transfer. Without external current, a spontaneous reduction of copper on the iron cone occurs, known as electroless deposition. Mach–Zehnder and differential interferometry indicate a variation in the concentration of copper ions near the cone. After an initial transient of about 60 s, temporal oscillations in the copper concentration are found under the effect of a magnetic field. In galvanostatic conditions, a similar oscillatory behavior of the concentration of the electrolyte is observed. Numerical simulations show that the oscillations are caused by the magnetic gradient, Lorentz force, and buoyancy force counteracting one an-other, and the oscillation frequency is estimated analytically based on this mechanism. Fur-thermore, we present a study on the oscillation frequency for both electroless and galvanostatic conditions with different current densities. The results of this study may stimulate future re-search aimed at the local control of the deposition rate and the realization of miniaturized, reg-ularly structured deposits using magnetic fields.
Keywords: Electrodeposition; magnetic field; mass transport; variation of ion concentration; Mach-Zehnder Interferometry
Magnetochemistry 7(2021), 46