Theory and Practice of Metal Electrodeposition

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Introduction to Electrodeposition: Basic Terms and Fundamental Concepts

  • Yuliy D. GamburgAffiliated withA. N. Frumkin Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences Email author 
  • , Giovanni ZangariAffiliated withDepartment of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Virginia

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Electrodeposition refers to a film growth process which consists in the formation of a metallic coating onto a base material occurring through the electrochemical reduction of metal ions from an electrolyte. The corresponding technology is often known as electroplating. Besides the production of metallic coatings, electrochemical metal reduction is also used for the extraction of metals starting from their ores (electrometallurgy) or for the reproduction of molds to form objects directly in their final shape (electroforming). In most cases, the metallic deposit thus obtained is crystalline; this process can therefore be called also electrocrystallization; this term was introduced by the Russian chemist V. Kistiakovski in the early twentieth century.