Suppression of copper electrodeposition by PEG in methanesulfonic acid electrolytes

Ryan T. Rooney, Himendra Jha, Dirk Rohde, Ralf Schmidt, Andrew A. Gewirth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate the suppression behavior of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) in methanesulfonic acid (MSA) Cu plating baths using electrochemical methods, normal Raman spectroscopy, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), and electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) measurements. Suppression of Cu electrodeposition by PEG in H2SO4 electrolytes only occurs in the presence of Cl, whereas Cl− is not required in MSA electrolytes. SERS measurements of MSA electrolytes without PEG at a Cu surface show MSA molecules undergo a re-orientation at ca. −0.15 V vs. Ag/AgCl, as evidenced by potential-dependent symmetry changes. The re-orientation of MSA in MSA + PEG electrolyte does not occur until −0.3 V vs. Ag/AgCl. At potentials negative of −0.3 V, MSA re-orients and PEG leaves the surface, in coordination with onset of Cu reduction current, suggesting the suppression interaction of PEG at a Cu surface is facilitated by MSA. QCM measurements demonstrate a similar departure of PEG mass at potentials negative of the MSA re-orientation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)D551-D558
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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