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Oscillatory Electrodeposition of Metal Films at Liquid/Liquid Interfaces Induced by the Large Surface Energy of Growing Deposits

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posted on 18.03.2008, 00:00 by Shuji Nakanishi, Tomoyuki Nagai, Kazuhiro Fukami, Kentarou Sonoda, Naohiro Oka, Daisuke Ihara, Yoshihiro Nakato
Electrodeposition of zinc (Zn) at an aqueous ZnSO4/n-butylacetate (BuAc) interface (liquid/liquid (LL) interface) showed a potential oscillation in the region of the current density exceeding the diffusion-limited one, accompanied by formation of two-dimensional Zn film with a concentric pattern at the LL interface. In-situ optical microscopic inspections revealed that the oscillatory growth of the Zn film synchronized with meniscus oscillation of the LL interface. The vigorous growth of the deposits occurs only when the shape of the meniscus becomes hollow on the negative potential side of the potential oscillation. On the other hand, on the positive side, the meniscus becomes almost flat and the deposits formed in the preceding stage are thickened. A mechanism is proposed to explain the oscillatory Zn electrodeposition coupled with the meniscus oscillation, on the basis of the fact that the interfacial tension at the growing metal/aqueous solution interface is extremely large.

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