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Electrolytic etching of titanium

Q. I wish to etch titanium using a resist, an electrolyte, and a "reverse electro plating" process. I would appreciate suggestions as to a suitable electrolyte which does not involve using HF.

Vernon Larson
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada

A. Ammonium bifluoride is a very safe way to get fluoride into an acid for etching. HF is not that dangerous in the dilute forms. Nitric acid with fluoride is only minorly more hazardous than the nitric solution and is definitely less of a hazard than the straight nitric. I have not seen anything in writing for this process. I do know that a a high current in hydrochloric acid will pit TI severely. Nitric HF is a great bright dip/etch, so you may have to do a lot lab work to find a suitable combination.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

A. You can etch Titanium with 8% H2O2 if you don't want to use HF.

Also you can add small doses of KOH or NaOH. This will reduce undercut under the resist.

Chris Burns
- Salzburg Austria
February 10, 2023

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