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topic 0156

Minimizing grain size in gold plating

A discussion started in 1996 and continuing through 1997.
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I need to plate thin gold (400 nm) with the smallest possible grain size (10 nm or less) onto sputter-deposited gold. I am using a commercial bath which yields a grain diameter of 40-60 nm. Plating efficiency and plating rate are not important (slower may give better control). Any ideas on a specific formula or commercial bath? Does anyone understand what plating parameters or additives could be used to reduce grain size? Thanks in advance,

Bill Bishop


Pulse plate it. There are hundreds of articles available on this exact subject. The AESF is a good place to start your investigation(links available from this site) along with Metal Finishing magazine. AESF will do lit searches for you. Pulsing in the tenths of milliseconds range may yield the desired result, or you can get special pulse units that can do hundredths of millisecond pulses. Contact Dynatronix Inc for power supplies.


Dave Kinghorn
Dave Kinghorn
Chemical Engineer
SUNNYvale, California

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