Chain length variation to probe the mechanism of accelerator additives in copper electrodeposition

Kevin G. Schmitt, Ralf Schmidt, Josef Gaida, Andrew A. Gewirth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We evaluate the effect of chain length for a series of alkyl sulfonic acid additives on Cu electrodeposition by using a combination of electrochemical and Raman spectroscopic methods. Rotating disk linear sweep voltammetry revealed the influence of these additives on the bulk concentration of Cu+ and on the exchange current densities of the reduction of Cu2+/Cu+ and Cu+/Cu. We then used in situ shell-isolated, nanoparticle-enhanced Raman spectroscopy to correlate the additives' effects on deposition kinetics with their chemical structures at the electrode surface. The combination of these methods suggests that effective Cu electrodeposition acceleration processes require: (1) direct tethering of mercaptoalkylsulfonate species to the electrode, (2) partial desolvation of Cu2+ by the sulfonate group to minimize its solvent reorganization energy, and (3) stabilization of Cu+ adjacent to the electrode surface by addition of halide. The model provides support for recently proposed theories for the electrodeposition of metals where charge is carried across the electrode interface by the cation, rather than the electron.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16838-16847
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number30
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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