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Deposition of copper, silver and gold from aqueous solutions onto germanium substrates via galvanic displacement

Deposition of copper, silver and gold from aqueous solutions onto germanium substrates is studied in this work. For this purpose both acidic and alkaline solutions were used. All investigated metals can successfully be deposited via the galvanic displacement reaction. These deposits are porous and with different surface morphologies which depended on the type (p- or n-) of the Ge substrate used in the experiments and on pH. Prolonged times of immersion of Ge substrates into investigated solutions may lead to a formation of more porous coatings and even powders, as successfully demonstrated on the example of silver. It is believed that the approach presented in this work should further be investigated as an activation step for a possible metallization of Ge substrates via autocatalytic or electrodeposition methods.
 
Fig. 1. SEM images of Cu deposited from an acidic Cu(II) citrate solution (pH 2) onto n-Ge substrate (left) and p-Ge substrate (right) (10 min immersion time).
 
Source: Electrochimica Acta
 
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