The process for electroplating amorphous gold-nickel-tungsten alloy that we developed previously based on the addition of a gold salt to a known amorphous Ni-W electroplating solution was investigated further using the X-ray diffraction (XRD) method for the purpose of quickly surveying the effects of various experimental variables on the microstructure of the alloy. In this system the gold concentration in the plating bath was found to be critical; i.e., when it is either very low or very high, the deposit becomes crystalline to XRD. The deposit composition varies linearly with the mole ratio of Au to Ni in solution, and the alloy deposit is amorphous to XRD when the atomic ratio of Au/Ni in the deposit is between 0.5 and 1.5. At suitable concentrations of the metal ions, the deposit contains essentially no tungsten. By extending the work on the Au-Ni-W system, an amorphous Au-Co alloy plating process was also developed.
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