Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China
JOURNAL OF RAILWAY SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
|Vol. 15 No. 4 August 2005|
（State Key Laboratory of Remanufacture Technology,
Armored Force Engineering Institute, Beijing 100072, China）
Abstract: The electrochemical nucleation mechanism of nickel on the vitreous carbon electrode from n-Al2O3/Ni composite brush plating system was investigated using potential step method. The interaction between nano-alumina and matrix metal was researched by X-ray photoelectron spectrometry. The results show that the nano-alumina leads to the increasing of the nuclei density, nucleation rate constant and crystal growth rate during nickel electrocrystallization. Nano-alumina is found to be beneficial for nucleation and growth of nickel. During the electrodeposition process, some nanoparticles are captured effectively on the growing metal surface. As the absorbed nickel atoms are diffusing on electrode surface, some of them arrive at the interface between the captured nano-alumina and the growing metal surface. The unsaturated bond of oxygen on nano-alumina surface can capture some of the absorbed nickel atoms and form nickel-oxygen chemical bond. The new nucleation and growth sites of nickel atoms appear at the interfaces between nanoparticles and metal growing surface. Nanoparticles are embedded gradually in the newly deposited nickel atoms, which leads to the formation of the composite coating. The results indicate that the nano-alumina takes part in the electrode reaction and the unsaturated chemical bond of oxygen on nanoparticle surface can combine with the absorbed nickel atoms by way of chemical bond.
Key words: nanoparticle; composite electrodeposition; chemical bond; co-deposition mechanism