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Dissolution reactions in wet etching of Nickel & silver



2002

Q. Hello,

I am working on the wet etching of Nickel and Silver and trying to understand the chemical reactions that happen during the dissolution of these two metals in the following solutions:

Nickel in HNO3 : H2O (1:4) at 40° C, and
Silver in H2O2 : NH4OH : H2O (1:1:4) at room temperature.

I am not a chemist myself and am not able to find any help in reference books on wet etching!

Thanks for your help!

Jerome Assal
- Lenzburg, Switzerland


affil. link
"Explosives and Their Power"
from Abe Books

or

August 9, 2008

A. Hi, Jerome. I'm not a chemist either, and can't answer exactly. But I can tell you that nickel and silver will not dissolve in simple mineral acids. Rather an oxidizing agent like Nitric acid (in your nickel reaction) or peroxide (in your silver reaction) is required to oxidize the metal (raise its oxidation state) so it can dissolve in the acid.

In view of your advisement that you are not a chemist, I would urge you to very carefully study the topic of "metal fulminates" and "silver fulminates" because my understanding is that these motion sensitive explosives can be easily and accidentally created in reactions involving silver and ammonia.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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