Ultrahigh Strength Ultrapure Nanostructured Nickel Metal Prepared via Ultrafine Anode Scanning Electrodeposition
• The existed synthesis methods for producing high microhardness nanostructured metal materials (NMMs) usually at the cost of reducing the tensile strength and introducing heterogeneous elements, thus making forming ultrahigh strength ultrapure NMMs significantly challengeable. We unprecedentedly produced ultrapure (99.9997%) nickel deposits simultaneously with an ultrahigh strength and mirror-like surfaces as well as an appreciably high ductility by using our proposed ultrafine anode scanning electrodeposition (UAS-ECD). Distinctively, the UAS-ECD is a speed-controlled pulsed voltage electrodeposition rather than a commonly-used time-controlled pulsed current electrodeposition. Therefore, the UAS-ECD can create NMMs at extremely high local current densities and with no additives. This makes it achievable to generate ultrahigh strength ultrapure NMMs with microhardness of 656 HV and tensile strength of 664 MPa (fracture elongation, 8.5%), which are respectively 29% and 30% higher than those reported in the literature. Also surprisingly, their tensile strength has only approximately 1% reduction after being annealed. This is attributed to minimum impurities introduction and evenly distributed ultrafine grains formed. In addition, UAS-ECD is able to produce grain-varying deposits just by adjusting the anode’s scanning speed, conveniently achieving 65 wt.%-95 wt.% nano-& micro-sized grains composite NMMs. This work provides a novel strategy for synthesizing ultrahigh strength ultrapure NMMs.