Metal matrix nanocomposite can be produced by electrodeposition of metals from plating baths containing a dispersion of inert nanoparticles. Understanding of bath chemistry/nanoparticle interactions has proved difficult. Empirical models based on that proposed by Guglielmi tend to be system specific and while the model accounts for the concentration of particles and current density it excludes hydrodynamic effects and particle characteristics. Pulse Reverse Plating offers a means to exert great control over coating particle content.
The student will develop a novel plating technique, pulse reverse plating, PRP to produce nanocomposite coatings with controllable nanoparticle content which is strongly dependent on nanoparticle surface charge and surface roughness. As yet no model can explain:
- Effect of particle capture on surface morphology and potential feedback mechanisms
- Effect of particle encapsulation on matrix crystalline growth.
- The measurement and effect of nanoparticle zeta potential in PRP
Experiment and modelling will develop these links to provide a new route to nanocomposite coatings.