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NUCLEATION STUDIES OF GOLD ON CARBON ELECTRODES

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Author(s): S. SOBRI | S. ROY

Journal: Journal of Engineering Science and Technology
ISSN 1823-4690

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 62;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: Gold nucleation | Thiosulphate-sulphite | Glassy carbon | Graphite

ABSTRACT
Interest has grown in developing non-toxic electrolytes for gold electrodeposition to replace the conventional cyanide-based bath for long term sustainability of gold electroplating. A solution containing thiosulphate and sulphite has been developed specially for microelectronics applications. However, at the end of the electrodeposition process, the spent electrolyte can contain a significant amount of gold in solution. This study has been initiated to investigate the feasibility of gold recovery from a spent thiosulphate-sulphite electrolyte. We have used flat-plate glassy carbon and graphite electrodes to study the mechanism of nucleation and crystal growth of gold deposition from the spent electrolyte. It was found that at the early stages of reduction process, the deposition of gold on glassy carbon exhibits an instantaneous nucleation of non-overlapping particles. At longer times, the particles begin to overlap and the deposition follows a classic progressive nucleation phenomenon. On the other hand, deposition of gold on graphite does not follow the classical nucleation phenomena.
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