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Monolith electroplating process

United States Patent

March 13, 2001
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Argonne National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Development and Commercialization Website
An electroplating process for preparing a monolith metal layer over a polycrystalline base metal and the plated monolith product. A monolith layer has a variable thickness of one crystal. The process is typically carried in molten salts electrolytes, such as the halide salts under an inert atmosphere at an elevated temperature, and over deposition time periods and film thickness sufficient to sinter and recrystallize completely the nucleating metal particles into one single crystal or crystals having very large grains. In the process, a close-packed film of submicron particle (20) is formed on a suitable substrate at an elevated temperature. The temperature has the significance of annealing particles as they are formed, and substrates on which the particles can populate are desirable. As the packed bed thickens, the submicron particles develop necks (21) and as they merge into each other shrinkage (22) occurs. Then as micropores also close (23) by surface tension, metal density is reached and the film consists of unstable metal grain (24) that at high enough temperature recrystallize (25) and recrystallized grains grow into an annealed single crystal over the electroplating time span. While cadmium was used in the experimental work, other soft metals may be used.
Agarrwal; Rajev R. (Mt. Prospect, IL)
09/ 405,610
September 24, 1999
"This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. W-31-109-ENG-38 awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention".