NIPHOS® 966 Nickel-Phosphorus Electrolyte as Alternative to Electroless Nickel

Alternative to electroless nickel

With NIPHOS® nickel-phosphorus alloy layers with high phosphorus content can be plated electrolytically in barrel-, rack- or reel-to-reel lines. Compared to electroless nickel layers containing a high phosphorus content, the electrolytic nickel-phosphorus layers are amorphous, diamagnetic and abrasion and corrosion resistant. The layers can be applied as intermediate layer (prior to e.g. tin, chromium or gold) or as final layer. In comparison to electroless nickel, electrolytic nickel-phosphorus electrolytes are operated at low temperatures.

Nickel-phosphorus electrolytes can be operated with soluble anodes (nickel), insoluble anodes (platinum plated or MMO) or a combination of both. The lifetime is almost unlimited and corresponds to the one of bright nickel electrolytes. NIPHOS® is insensible to contaminations with metallic particles. In contrary to electroless nickel it does not tend to random plating. Also the electrolytes are free from halides and contain, besides nickel, no other heavy metals such as lead or cadmium.

Electrolyte characteristics

Electrolyte type


Metal content

80 (60 - 90) g/l Ni
25 (22 - 28) g/l P

pH value

2.6 (2.5 - 2.7)

Operating temperature

60 (55 - 75) °C

Current density range: Rack operation

4 (3 - 5) A/dm²

Current density range: Barrel operation

1.5 (1 - 2) A/dm²

Plating speed: Rack operation at 4 A/dm²

0.4 μm/min

Plating speed: Barrel operation at 1.5 A/dm²

0.15 μm/min

Anode material

Nickel (type S) or Pt-Ti, MMO (type PLATINODE® 177)

Coating characteristics



Alloy composition

87 - 89 wt.% Ni
11 - 13 wt.% P

Colour of deposit





550 - 600 HV

Density of the coating

Appr. 7.8 g/cm³


  • Cost advantage compared to electroless nickel up to 50%
  • High phosphorus content of P > 11 %
  • Simple electrolyte maintenance at electrolyte temperatures of 60°C
  • Long lifetime of the electrolyte
  • Does not contain any halides, sulphur or heavy metals such as lead or cadmium
  • Weldable and bondable surface layer
  • For rack-, barrel- or reel-to-reel operation
  • High hardness (up to 1,200 HV after heat treatment)
  • Very good abrasion and corrosion resistance
  • Suitable as final or intermediate layer


  • Diamagnetic coatings of RF connectors
  • Intermediate layer prior to gold-plating of connectors
  • Electroforming, e.g. of matrices
  • Hydraulic, e.g. piston rods

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Questions about the product?

Markus Legeler

+49 7171 607 204

For inquiries and additional information
please contact

Umicore AG & Co. KG
Rodenbacher Chaussee 4
63457 Hanau-Wolfgang

Tel.: +49 (6181) 59 6005
Fax: +49 (6181) 59 2970

The information and statements contained herein are provided free of charge. They are believed to be accurate at the time of publication, but Umicore makes no warranty with respect thereto, including but not limited to any results to be obtained or the infringement of any proprietary rights. Use or application of such information or statements is at the user´s sole discretion, without any liability on the part of Umicore. Nothing herein shall be construed as a license or recommendation for use, which infringes upon any proprietary rights. All sales are subject to Umicore´s General Conditions of Sale and Delivery.