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Effect of Current Distribution on Quartz Crystal Microbalance Measurements

  • James J. Kelly (a1), Christopher J. Durning (a1) and Alan C. West (a1)


Spatially nonuniform electrodeposition can cause discrepancies between predicted and experimentally measured mass loadings on an electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance (EQCM) since the sensitivity of the quartz crystal varies significantly from point to point. These discrepancies can be significant even if the current distribution is nearly uniform. These effects were examined experimentally by varying the conductivity of the electrolyte and the current density during the electrodeposition of copper on an EQCM, effecting changes in the spatial, deposited-mass distribution in a controlled manner. The resulting frequency shifts are in agreement with results predicted by current distribution simulations, validated a posteriori with profilometry measurements. Our results permit determination of the spatial variation of the quartz crystal sensitivity factor or of the current distribution on the EQCM.



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