Effect of Commercial Electrowinning Additives on the Nucleation and Growth of Copper on Stainless Steel


Nucleation and growth of copper on 316L stainless steel from synthetic acidified copper sulfate was studied in the absence and presence of chloride ions and/or organic additives (HydroStar® 4208, DXG®-F7, Cyquest® N-900) using a potentiostatic technique. The current-time data obtained at 0.16V vs. SHE was analyzed using nucleation and growth models. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of deposits produced at 300 A m-2 show that the addition of 20 mg/L chloride ions increased the size and reduced the number of copper nuclei. Potentiostatic cun-ent-time data from the electrolyte without organic additives indicate progressive nucleation with two-dimensional (2-D) growth under diffusion control. SEM images obtained confirmed progressive nucleation with 2-D growth. 20 mg/L Cf and 2.5 mg/L organic additives did not change the nucleation and growth mechanism, however the additives increased the number and reduced the size of copper nuclei leading to more uniform coverage of the stainless steel substrate.

Meeting Name

2015 SME Annual Conference and Expo and CMA 117th National Western Mining Conference - Mining: Navigating the Global Waters (2015: Feb. 15-18, Denver, CO)


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Additives; Copper; Electrowinning; Growth; Nucleation

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2015 Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2015

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