Historically, dealloying, the selective dissolution of elemental components from an alloy, has been studied most intensively for binary noble-metal alloys such as Ag-Au, Cu-Au and Zn-Cu. There have been three primary 'mechanisms' proposed to explain ambient temperature dealloying in such systems: 'simultaneous' dissolution of both components/redeposition of the more-noble constituent, lattice diffusion-supported by a di-vacancy mechanism of the more reactive component to the alloy/electrolyte interface and percolation dissolution. Here, we briefly discuss each of these mechanisms and the corresponding dealloyed morphology. In order to examine the connection between a mechanism and morphology we examined dealloying of Mg from Mg-Cd alloys under conditions for which vacancy-mediated lattice diffusion occurs at significant rates. Depending on alloy composition and dealloying rate, we observed either 'negative' dendrites or bi-continuous structures, each of which is directly associated with the operation of a particular mechanism. Our findings should be useful to researchers employing dealloying to obtain particular types nanostructured features for a variety of applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C226-C231
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 5 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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