Mechanisms of chromium deposition and dissolution under direct and pulse reverse plating conditions
Baths containing sulphuric acid as catalyst and others with selected secondary catalysts (methane sulphonic acid - MSA, SeO2, a KBrO3/KIO3 mixture, indium, uranium and commercial high speed catalysts (HEEF-25 and HEEF-405)) were studied. The secondary catalysts influenced CCE, brightness and cracking. Chromium deposition mechanisms were studied in Part II using potentiostatic and potentiodynamic electroanalytical techniques under stationary and hydrodynamic conditions. Sulphuric acid as a primary catalyst and MSA, HEEF-25, HEEF-405 and sulphosalycilic acid as co-catalysts were explored for different rotation, speeds and scan rates. Maximum current was resolved into diffusion and kinetically limited components, and a contribution towards understanding the electrochemical mechanism is proposed. Reaction kinetics were further studied for H2SO4, MSA and methane disulphonic acid catalysed systems and their influence on reaction mechanisms elaborated. Charge transfer coefficient and electrochemical reaction rate orders for the first stage of the electrodeposition process were determined. A contribution was made toward understanding of H2SO4 and MSA influence on the evolution rate of hydrogen. Anodic dissolution of chromium in the chromic acid solution was studied with a number of techniques. An electrochemical dissolution mechanism is proposed, based on the results of rotating gold ring disc experiments and scanning electron microscopy. Finally, significant increases in chromium electrodeposition rates under non-stationary conditions (PRC mode) were studied and a deposition mechanisms is elaborated based on experimental data and theoretical considerations.