Hope College Physics Department
Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Summer 2011
Project Summary


Project Title: Electrodeposition and Characterization of Nanoporous Nickel-Copper Alloy Films
Student Name: Evan Nelsen
Student's Home Institution: Rhodes College
Research Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Hampton
Source of Support:

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF-REU Grant No. PHY/DMR-1004811, NSF-RUI Grant No. DMR-1104725 and NSF-MRI Grant No. CHE-0959282.

Nanostructured materials have a number of interesting properties such as high surface area and enhanced reactivity. This project focuses on creating and characterizing nickel-copper alloy thin films. These films were deposited from solution containing sodium sulfate (1 M), boric acid (0.5 M), nickel (II) sulfate (0.1 M), and copper (II) sulfate (0.01 M) onto uniformly gold-plated silicon wafers. Using a BAS Epsilon electrochemical workstation and a Teflon electrochemical cell, nickel-copper thin films were deposited at various potentials while holding the charge constant. The resulting samples’ structure and composition were examined using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive Spectrometry (EDS). The capacitance of the samples was measured in order to estimate their roughness. Moreover, copper was electrochemically removed from samples deposited using a specific deposit potential. The resulting nanoporous samples’ structure, composition and capacitance were then analyzed.
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