Doctoral Dissertations

Keywords and Phrases

Additives; Copper; Current distribution; Electrowinning; Mass transport; Pulse plating


"Roughness and nodulation of copper electrodeposits depend strongly on mass transfer conditions of copper ions to the electrode surface. Mass transfer properties in electrowinning electrolytes were first characterized. The effective diffusivity of cupric ion was measured with a rotating disk electrode in CuSO4-H2SO4 electrolytes at temperatures relevant to electrowinning, with and without additives. Adding 20 mg L-1 of chloride ion increased the measured diffusion coefficient, but commercial smoothing additives had little effect. An empirical formula to predict cupric diffusivity was generated for later use in mass transport modeling.

Boundary layer thickness information for commercial cells was taken from the literature. The rotating cylinder Hull cell (RCHC) was then used to produce copper deposits with similar boundary layer thicknesses. The current distribution was calculated with a finite element method and a Fourier series. Nodulation appears at 20-50% of the limiting current density, and this was termed the permissible current density. The amount of nodulation, as well as surface roughness, increases with increasing current density. The simulated air sparged cell enabled current densities 2-3 times higher than the conventional electrowinning cell while still producing smooth deposits. Pulsed plating with three rectangular waveforms was also examined A pulse-rest waveform with a 50% duty cycle gave a finer deposit morphology. Pulse-reverse and pulse-rest-reverse waveforms were also used but were inferior to the pulse-rest deposits. Addition of a smoothing additive, Hydrostar 10, significantly reduced the amount of nodulation, but did not completely suppress it"--Abstract, p. iv


Moats, Michael S.

Committee Member(s)

Switzer, Jay A., 1950-
Miller, F. Scott, 1956-
O'Malley, Ronald J.
Huebner, Wayne


Materials Science and Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Metallurgical Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2022


xiii, 151 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes_bibliographical_references_(pages 138-150)


© 2022 Joseph Mark Bauer, All Rights Reserved

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 12187

Included in

Metallurgy Commons