Phosphorous content in electroless nickel directly measurable


Phosphorous, the concentration of which significantly influences the mechanical and magnetic properties of a coating, is incorporated when using typical methods for electroless or chemical deposition of nickel. Measurement of the phosphorous content has therefore been an issue ever since electroless Ni was first introduced for technical applications.

Until now, X-ray fluorescence analysis – widely used in the electroplating industry for coating thickness measurement and coating analysis – was only able to determine phosphorous concentration indirectly through evaluation of the substrate material’s signal, restricting the applicability of the technique to systems with substrates consisting of only one heavy element. Furthermore, a minimum coating thickness of about 4μm was required.