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Platinum Metals Rev., 1963, 7, (4), 135

Electrodeposition of the Platinum Metals

Composition of Electrolytes and Properties of Deposits

  • L. B. H.

Of the six platinum metals, only platinum, palladium and rhodium have established applications for themselves in electrodeposited form, and of these rhodium has so far greatly outweighed the other two in importance. In the last few years, however, an increasing degree of attention has been given to platinum and rather more to palladium, stimulated in the one case by the development of cathodic protection techniques and in the other by the demands of printed circuitry. A considerable literature has now grown up covering electrolytes suitable for the deposition of these metals, and workers in this field will be grateful for a comprehensive survey prepared by F. H. Reid of the International Nickel Company (Mond) Limited and published by the Institute of Metals in their series of “Metallurgical Reviews” (1963, 8, (30), 167-211).

Not unnaturally rhodium receives a considerable share of attention in this review, and a mass of detail is well summarised concerning the preparation of electrolytes, formulation and operating conditions, the effects of operating conditions on the properties of deposits, and on questions of contamination and purification of the electolytes.

With both palladium and platinum plating, recent industrial demand has disclosed a paucity of systematic data, and investigations in this field are currently being actively pursued. However, the review surveys the several types of electrolytes that have been proposed for these two metals and the operating conditions recommended for their successful use.

Interest in the electrodeposition of the other three metals of the platinum group has been slight, and there is therefore very little literature to review. Ruthenium plating could, however, have an interesting future. Two other fields in which the author considers that advances might be expected during the next few years are those of alloy plating – possibly of rhodium-platinum or iridium-platinum alloys for high temperature protection – and of electroless deposition, which has obvious potentialities that have not as yet been at all fully explored. The review gives ninety-five references.