High density of genuine growth twins in electrodeposited aluminum

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Science Advances  18 Oct 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 10, eaax3894
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax3894


We demonstrate electrodeposition as a synthesis method for fabrication of Al coatings, up to 10 μm thick, containing a high density of genuine growth twins. This has not been expected since the twin boundary energy of pure Al is very high. TEM methods were used to analyze deposited Al and its nanoscaled twins. DFT methods confirmed that the influence of the substrate is limited to the layers close to the interface. Our findings are different from those achieved by sputtering of Al coatings restricted to a thickness less than 100 nm with twins dominated by epitaxial effects. We propose that in the case of electrodeposition, a high density of twins arises because of fast nucleation and is additionally promoted by a monolayer of adsorbed hydrogen originating from water impurities. Therefore, electrodeposition is a viable approach for tailoring the structure and properties of thicker, deposited Al coatings reinforced by twins.

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