Contribution of electrolyte pH and deposition potentials to the magnetic anisotropy of electrodeposited nickel films


JOURNAL OF MAGNETISM AND MAGNETIC MATERIALS, vol.322, pp.1088-1091, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


The influence of electrolyte pH and cathode potential on the magnetic properties of single layer Nickel films electrodeposited on polycrystalline titanium substrates was studied. The films were deposited at the electrolyte pH=3.5 +/- 0.1, 2.5 +/- 0.1 and 2.1 +/- 0.1 by varying the deposition potentials (-1.2, -1.5 and -1.8 V vs saturated calomel electrode, SCE) applied in continuous waveform. The structural analysis by X-ray diffraction revealed that the films have face-centred cubic structure. Results of the magnetic measurements obtained by vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) indicated that the magnetic properties were affected by the electrolyte pH and the cathode potentials in terms of magnetic anisotropy. At the highest pH the films deposited at the lowest potential had in-plane magnetic anisotropy. As the electrolyte pH decreased from the high (pH=3.570.1) to low (pH=2.5 +/- 0.1), which is aided by increasing the potentials, resulted in an almost magnetic isotropy in the films. However, isotropic magnetic behaviour was observed for the film deposited at the low pH combined with the high potential (-1.8 V vs SCE). Magnetic thickness profile of the samples obtained by VSM revealed that the isotropic films have a smoother magnetic variation across the film from one edge than the anisotropic ones. This is also verified with a microscopic observation by an optical microscope and the surface of the isotropic films is observed to be smoother than that of the anisotropic ones. Furthermore, all films were found to have planar magnetic anisotropy irrespective of the pH's and the potentials. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.