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Cyanide-free Silver Electroplating Process In Thiosulfate Bath And Microstructure Analysis Of Ag Coatings

F. Ren, Li-tao Yin, S. Wang, A. Volinsky, Baohong Tian
Published 2013 · Materials Science

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Abstract Cyanide-free silver electroplating was conducted in thiosulfate baths containing AgNO 3 and AgBr major salts, respectively. The effects of major salt content and current density on surface quality, deposition rate and microhardness of Ag coatings were investigated. The optimized electroplating parameters were established. The adhesion strength of Ag coating on Cu substrate was evaluated and the grain size of Ag coating was measured under optimized electroplating parameters. The optimized AgNO 3 content is 40 g/L with current density of 0.25 A/dm 2 . The deposited bright, smooth, and well adhered Ag coating had nanocrystalline grains with mean size of 35 nm. The optimized AgBr content was 30 g/L with current density of 0.20 A/dm 2 . The resultant Ag coating had nanocrystalline grains with mean size of 55 nm. Compared with the bath containing AgBr main salt, the bath containing AgNO 3 main salt had a wider current density range, and corresponding Ag coating had a higher microhardness and a smaller grain size.
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