Issue 29, 2016

Dysprosium electrodeposition from a hexaalkylguanidinium-based ionic liquid


The rare-earth element dysprosium (Dy) is an important additive that increases the magnetocrystalline anisotropy of neodymium magnets and additionally prevents from demagnetizing at high temperatures. Therefore, it is one of the most important elements for high-tech industries and is mainly used in permanent magnetic applications, for example in electric vehicles, industrial motors and direct-drive wind turbines. In an effort to develop a more efficient electrochemical technique for depositing Dy on Nd-magnets in contrast to commonly used costly physical vapor deposition, we investigated the electrochemical behavior of dysprosium(III) trifluoromethanesulfonate in a custom-made guanidinium-based room-temperature ionic liquid (RTIL). We first examined the electrodeposition of Dy on an Au(111) model electrode. The investigation was carried out by means of cyclic voltammetry (CV) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The initial stages of metal deposition were followed by in situ scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). CV measurements revealed a large cathodic reduction peak, which corresponds to the growth of monoatomic high islands, based on STM images taken during the initial stages of deposition. XPS identified these deposited islands as dysprosium. A similar reduction peak was also observed on an Nd–Fe–B substrate, and positively identified as deposited Dy using XPS. Finally, we varied the concentration of the Dy precursor, electrolyte flow and temperature during Dy deposition and demonstrated that each of these parameters could be used to increase the thickness of the Dy deposit, suggesting that these parameters could be tuned simultaneously in a temperature-controlled flow cell to enhance the thickness of the Dy layer.

Graphical abstract: Dysprosium electrodeposition from a hexaalkylguanidinium-based ionic liquid

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
17 Feb 2016
10 Apr 2016
First published
11 Apr 2016
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Nanoscale, 2016,8, 13997-14003

Dysprosium electrodeposition from a hexaalkylguanidinium-based ionic liquid

C. A. Berger, M. Arkhipova, G. Maas and T. Jacob, Nanoscale, 2016, 8, 13997 DOI: 10.1039/C6NR01351A

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. You can use material from this article in other publications without requesting further permissions from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.

Social activity