Growth of copper on diatom silica by electroless deposition technique

Erwin P. Enriquez, Ateneo de Manila University


In this study, the growth of copper on porous diatom silica by electroless deposition method has been demonstrated for the first time. Raman peaks of copper (145, 213, and 640 cm−1 ) appeared in the copper-coated, Amphora sp. and Skeletonema sp. diatom samples, confirming the successful deposition of copper. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) indicated the presence of copper on the diatom silica surface. The 3D intricate structure of diatom was still evident by optical and scanning electron microscopy analyses when the diatom samples were immersed in the copper bath for only 5 hours. Incubating the diatom samples in the copper bath for 24 h produced a dense coating on the diatom surface and covered the intricate 3D structure of the diatom silica. These results present possibilities of the fabrication of hierarchically organized copper with 3D diatom replica structures.