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Title: In situ X-ray nanotomography of metal surfaces during electropolishing

A low voltage electropolishing of metal wires is attractive for nanotechnology because it provides centimeter long and micrometer thick probes with the tip radius of tens of nanometers. Using X-ray nanotomography we studied morphological transformations of the surface of tungsten wires in a specially designed electrochemical cell where the wire is vertically submersed into the KOH electrolyte. We show that stability and uniformity of the probe span is supported by a porous shell growing at the surface of tungsten oxide and shielding the wire surface from flowing electrolyte. We discovered that the kinetics of shell growth at the triple line, where meniscus meets the wire, is very different from that of the bulk of electrolyte. Many metals follow similar electrochemical transformations hence the discovered morphological transformations of metal surfaces are expected to play significant role in many natural and technological applications.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [1]
  1. Clemson Univ., SC (United States)
  2. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States). School of Materials Science and Engineering
  3. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States). Photon Sciences Directorate
  4. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-98CH10886; FA9550-12-1-0458
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States