Electrodeposition of Indium from an ionic liquid investigated by in situ electrochemical XPS
The electrochemical behavior and electrodeposition of indium in an electrolyte composed of 0.1 mol/L InCl3 in 1-butyl-1-methylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)amide ([Py1,4]TFSI) on a gold electrode were investigated. The cyclic voltammogram revealed several reduction and oxidation peaks, indicating a complex electrochemical behavior. In the cathodic regime, with the formation of an In-Au alloy, the reduction of In(III) to In(I) and of In(I) to In(0) takes place. In situ electrochemical X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was employed to investigate the reduction process by monitoring the oxidation states of the components during the cathodic polarization of 0.1 mol/L InCl3/[Py1,4]TFSI on a gold working electrode under ultra-high vacuum (UHV) conditions. The core electron binding energies of the IL components (C 1s, O 1s, F 1s, N 1s, and S 2p) shift almost linearly to more negative values as a function of the applied cell voltage. At −2.0 V versus Pt-quasi reference, In(I) was identified as the intermediate species during the reduction process. In the anodic regime, a strong increase in the pressure in the XPS chamber was recorded at a cell voltage of more than −0.5 V versus Pt quasi reference, which indicated, in addition to the oxidation reactions of In species, that the oxidation of Cl− occurs. Ex situ XPS and XRD results revealed the formation of metallic In and of an In-Au alloy.