- Scientific Reports Journal
- December 2017
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International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
- We have assessed the stabilizing role that induced co-deposition has in the growth of nanostructured NiW alloy films by electrodeposition on polished steel substrates, under pulsed galvanostatic conditions. We have compared the kinetic roughening properties of NiW films with those of Ni films deposited under the same conditions, as assessed by Atomic Force Microscopy. The surface morphologies of both systems are super-rough at short times, but differ at long times: while a cauliflower-like structure dominates for Ni, the surfaces of NiW films display a nodular morphology consistent with more stable, conformal growth, whose height fluctuations are in the Kardar-ParisiZhang universality class of rough two-dimensional interfaces. These differences are explained by the mechanisms controlling surface growth in each case: mass transport through the electrolyte (Ni) and attachment of the incoming species to the growing interface (NiW). Thus, the long-time conformal growth regime is characteristic of electrochemical induced co-deposition under current conditions in which surface kinetics is hindered due to a complex reaction mechanism. These results agree with a theoretical model of surface growth in diffusion-limited systems, in which the key parameter is the relative importance of mass transport with respect to the kinetics of the attachment reaction.