Effect of bath additives on the microstructure, lattice defect density and hardness of electrodeposited nanocrystalline Ni films

Tamás Kolonits, Péter Jenei, L. Péter, I. Bakonyi, Zsolt Czigány, J. Gubicza

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Experiments were performed for the study of the influence of impurities on the microstructure and hardness of nanocrystalline Ni films. The samples were prepared by electrodeposition using two basic electrolyte solutions (a sulfate-type bath and a Watts-type bath). The effect of saccharin as organic additive on the microstructure, texture and hardness was studied. It was found that the Watts bath without saccharin yielded a larger grain size compared to its sulfate-type counterpart. For both electrolyte solutions, (220) out-of-plane texture was formed in the saccharin-free films. The additive saccharin eliminated the texture and yielded very fine microstructures with high dislocation densities and twin fault probabilities for both solution types. The influence of saccharin on the defect density was higher for the film prepared from the sulfate-type bath. It was revealed that there is a correlation between the defect density and the grain size. When saccharin was added to the Watts bath, the combined effect of nickel-chloride and saccharin led to a bimodal grain size distribution. An additional sample was deposited from an electrolyte containing trisodium citrate to investigate the sodium incorporation in the Ni layers. The correlation between the microstructure and the hardness of the films was discussed in detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-621
Number of pages11
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Publication statusPublished - Sep 15 2018



  • Dislocation density
  • Electrodeposition
  • Hardness
  • Nanocrystalline Ni
  • Twin faults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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