Deposition mechanism of aluminum on uranium in AlCl3-1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride ionic liquid by galvanic displacement
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Aluminum (Al) coatings, which are found to be dendrites, have been deposited on uranium (U) substrate in ionic liquid via galvanic displacement. Interestingly, a dense Al nano-layer has formed between the Al dendrites and the U substrate. In this work, the growth mechanism of the Al coating has been investigated by ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, grazing incidence X-ray diffraction, and electrochemical measurements: the galvanic reaction sees the oxidation of U from the substrate while Al2Cl7− are reduced on its surface, driven by the electrochemical potential difference between Al and U. Furthermore, we have found that the Al nano-layer passivates the uranium surface, which is proved to be the rate limiting step in the galvanic deposition process; the observation of the interface morphology evolution process indicates that this Al nano-layer grows in a three-dimensional mode. This work demonstrates a convenient approach to deposit dense Al nano-layer on U, without any external power source.
KeywordsGalvanic deposition Ionic liquid Aluminum nano-layer
The authors would like to thank Prof. Ling, Prof. Zhang, Colleague Xiandong Meng and Anyi Yin for technical support. And this work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 11404295), National Key Scientific Apparatus Development of Special Item of China (No. 2012YQ130125) and the Disipline Development Foundation of China Academy of Engineering and Physics (No. 2015B0301065).
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