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Numerical simulation of metal electrodeposition under the influence of a magnetic field towards nano-sized conically structured deposits

Huang, M.; Skibinska, K.; Zabinski, P.; Eckert, K.; Mutschke, G.


Nano-structured cones have gained much attention due to their superior super-hydrophobic and electrocatalytic properties recently. This work aims to explore if magnetic fields could support the electrodeposition of nano-cone arrays on electrodes that are not externally templated. The magnetic forces, including the Lorentz force and the magnetic gradient force, can generate a flow that brings electrolyte enriched with electroactive ions towards the cone tips, and thus may enhance the local mass transfer and support the conical growth.
Numerical studies on single diamagnetic (Cu) and ferromagnetic (Fe) cathodes of conical shape at mm length scale provide a basic understanding of the flow and the mass transfer at conical structures during electrodeposition in a uniform external magnetic field. It is found that beside the Lorentz force, the magnetic gradient force caused by the magnetization of the Fe cones can efficiently enhance conical growth. Working towards nano-sized cone arrays, upon shrinking the cone size we find that conical growth becomes less supported. Damping effects from neighboring cones and weaker electrolyte flow in general are weakening the mass transfer enhancements near the cone tip. However, the flow caused by the magnetic gradient force (Fe case) is clearly less affected than that caused by the Lorentz force (Cu case).
Despite the weaker flow effects when the cone size shrinks, a beneficial influence of the magnetic field on conical growth, especially for ferromagnetic deposits, can be stated also at small scales.

Related publications

  • Lecture (Conference)
    14th International Workshop on Electrodeposited Nanostructures, 09.-10.06.2022, Krakow, Poland


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