Depth-dependent scanning photoelectron microspectroscopy unravels the mechanism of dynamic pattern formation in alloy electrodeposition

Patterns forming during alloy electrodeposition have attracted scientific interest for several decades, but, so far, many aspects of the physical chemistry of these dynamic structures remain unexplained.
B. Bozzini et al., J. Phys. Chem. C (2018).

For decades, the formation of spatio-temporal structures in alloy electrodeposition has been extensively studied experimentally and theoretically: nevertheless, to date, their governing mechanisms have remained elusive. In this study, we have considerably advanced in the understanding of these processes, thanks to the unique combination of chemical surface sensitivity and submicrometer spatial resolution offered by synchrotron-based SPEM (Scanning Photoelectron Microscopy), integrated with sputtering, that added the third, in-depth, dimension of the distribution.

Specifically, we have investigated an electrodeposited Ag-In alloy exhibiting a spiral pattern (Fig. 1) - that ad been fully characterized with conventional compositional, microscopic and structural approaches - by monitoring the evolution of the Ag, In and O core levels with depth. [CONTINUE READING]

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B. Bozzini et al., J. Phys. Chem. C (2018).
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