A Study of the Uniformity of NiFe Electrodeposition on a Au Substrate

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Jennifer Hampton, Hope College

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Material based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. REU-PHY/DMR-1004811, and MRI-0959282, Hope College Dean for the Natural and Applied Sciences, and Hope College Physics Department Frissel Fund.


The layered deposition of magnetic metals on non-magnetic metals creates materials with giant magnetoresistance. Controlled electrodeposition may produce these materials more easily and affordably than current techniques. This research used three different techniques to analyze our control over the deposition process for NiFe alloys. The three techniques were: current data during deposition, the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) at Hope College, and the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) at Calvin College. The effects of varying the initial potential and the deposition time were studied. The effects of using an initial potential of 0 mV versus an open circuit initial potential were studied using current data and SEM images. Electrochemical data showed that the deposit varied more due to change in solution than due to the variation in initial potential. The effects of changing the duration of deposition were studied using SEM and AFM. SEM images were used for visual comparisons of sample uniformity. The AFM data were analyzed for height scaling properties.

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