Development of a Unique Deposition Process for Thin Film Calibration Sensors


A new approach for coating thin metal films on pure aluminum for use in sensors has been developed. The process consists of three steps: (1) spontaneous electrolytic copper cementation onto aluminum directly from an organic solvent, (2) electroplating cadmium on the copper-modified aluminum substrate, and (3) cold rolling to enhance the properties and size of the final deposit. The unique part of the technology is the use of the galvanic coating process to plate copper from an organic solvent. The adherence approaches levels which are not attainable using conventional cementation procedures from aqueous solutions. The results of some preliminary tests on the effect of parameters such as the chemical composition of the phases, loading parameters, temperature and oxygen content on the rate of reaction and the quality of the copper deposit are presented. The copper nuclei deposited on the aluminum serve as initiation sites for the deposition of a uniform and adherent cadmium deposit which serves as the thin film sensor. The special Cd108 isotope layer necessary for the particular application is approximately 600 nm thick after rolling.


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Copper deposition; Deposition from organics; Thin film sensors

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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Publication Date

31 Mar 1999