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Issue 23, 2017
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Kinetics of the electrochemically-assisted deposition of sol–gel films

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Abstract

Electrochemically-assisted deposition is now becoming a widespread method for preparing sol–gel films. It is based on the electrochemical generation of OH ions, which can then catalyze the sol–gel condensation reactions. It has a key advantage of selectively facilitating the film deposition on electrochemically active surfaces while not affecting the stability of the bulk precursor solution. Experimental studies have clearly shown that the thickness of the electrochemically-assisted deposited films is influenced by the deposition parameters such as the potential and time. However, there is still a lack of quantitative description of the kinetics of film growth due to the complexity of the process. In this preliminary study, we derived quantitative analytical expressions for describing the kinetics associated with the growth of sol–gel films generated by electrochemically assisted deposition. Both heterogeneous and homogeneous condensation reactions were considered. The key strategy was to simplify the process by separating the electrochemical step of generating OH ions with the condensation steps of film formation under approximation. Furthermore, numerical simulation was carried out to examine the validity and any errors in the analytical expressions in the cases when the required approximations were not fulfilled. The analytical expressions could well explain the trends observed in the experimental studies and could also be used for fitting the experimental results from the literature. This study provides a deeper understanding of the mechanism and quantitative guidance for manipulating electrochemically-assisted deposition processes at a large scale in industry. It may also be referred to in regard to other indirect electrodeposition systems in which the deposition is not an electrochemical step but is instead driven by electrochemically-generated catalysts.

Graphical abstract: Kinetics of the electrochemically-assisted deposition of sol–gel films

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Mar 2017, accepted on 13 May 2017 and first published on 16 May 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CP01775H
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017,19, 14972-14983
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    Kinetics of the electrochemically-assisted deposition of sol–gel films

    L. Liu and A. Walcarius, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, 19, 14972
    DOI: 10.1039/C7CP01775H

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