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Chaos. 2006 Sep;16(3):037106.

Periodic and chaotic oscillations of the electrochemical potential of p-Si in contact with an aqueous (CuSO4+HF) solution, caused by electroless Cu deposition.

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  • 1Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-8531, Japan.


Periodic and chaotic oscillations were observed for the potential of p-type Si(111) immersed in an aqueous (HF+CuSO(4)) solution, accompanied by electroless Cu deposition on p-Si. They were, to our knowledge, the first examples of open-circuit potential oscillations observed for semiconductor electrodes. The oscillations appeared only when the Cu deposit formed a continuous porous film composed of mutually connected submicrometer-sized particles. Besides, the Si surface was kept flat within the size less than 50 nm even after the prolonged oscillation for a few hours, though the Si surface should be etched considerably with HF for this time. A plausible model is proposed for the periodic oscillation, in which interestingly coupling of autocatalytic shift in the flat-band potential of Si (U(fb)) caused by the change in the coverage of the Si oxide and the connection and disconnection of the Cu film with the Si surface plays the key role. The appearance of the chaotic oscillation is also explained by taking into account an oscillation-coupled change in the HF or Cu(2+) concentration near the Si surface.

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