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A New Solution for Electroplating of Mercury

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000037853D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-30
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Horkans, WJ: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

A procedure is disclosed for the electrodeposition of mercury Hg on a substrate of a different metal. The solution used is nearly neutral and does not attack less noble metals. Good quality deposits are obtained at essentially 100% current efficiency.

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A New Solution for Electroplating of Mercury

A procedure is disclosed for the electrodeposition of mercury Hg on a substrate of a different metal. The solution used is nearly neutral and does not attack less noble metals. Good quality deposits are obtained at essentially 100% current efficiency.

Due to the toxicity of Hg, replacements for it have been found whenever possible. Consequently, the science and technology of Hg electrodeposition have received very little study, and they are inadequate for producing the deposits desired for the remaining applications requiring the unique properties of Hg and amalgams. Mercury can be deposited on a less noble substrate by an exchange reaction, in which Hg2+ ions in solution displacing the less noble metal from the surface. The exchange reaction has the advantage of not requiring electrical contact, but it is difficult to control and results in significant loss of the substrate metal. Use of Hg electrodeposition is preferable to exchange deposition of Hg in applications in which electrical contact can be made. Mercury is typically plated from a HNO3 solution. This solution is very corrosive and will rapidly attach substrate metals less noble than Hg. Additionally, the quality of the Hg deposit is not good.

The present procedure describes a Hg plating solution that overcomes the disadvantages of other solutions. The pH is nearly neutral, and thus the dissolution rate of most substrate materials is negligible. The rate of d...