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Electroless plating reactions are classified according to four overall reaction schemes in which each partial reaction is either under diffusion control or electrochemical control. The theory of a technique, based on the observation of the mixed potential as a function of agitation, concentration of the reducing agent, and concentration of metal ions, is presented. By using this technique it is shown that in electroless copper plating the copper deposition reaction is diffusion-controlled, while the formaldehyde decomposition reaction is activation-controlled. Values of the kinetic and mechanistic parameters for the partial reactions obtained by this method and by other electrochemical methods indicate that the two partial reactions are not independent of each other.
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