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In situ microwave activation is investigated for the electrodeposition of a metal (gold) and for a metal oxide (hydrous Ti(IV) oxide) onto tin-doped indium oxide (ITO) film electrodes. It is demonstrated that localized microwave heating of the ITO film can be exploited to affect electrodeposition processes. The electrochemically reversible and temperature sensitive one-electron redox system Fe(CN)(6)(3-/4-) was employed in aqueous solution in order to calibrate the average surface temperature at the ITO film electrode. In the presence of microwave radiation the average electrode surface temperature reached ca. 363 K whereas under the same conditions the bulk solution temperature reached ca. 313 K. Therefore localized heating of the ITO film appears to be important. The rate of electrodeposition of gold from an aqueous 1 mM tetrachloroaurate(III) solution in 0.1 M KCl (adjusted to pH 2) is enhanced by microwave activation. However. the morphology of deposits remains un-effected. Hydrous titanium (IV) oxide films were electrodeposited from an aqueous solution of I mM TiCl3 in 0.1 M acetate buffer pH 4.7. Dense films with blocking character were obtained with conventional heating but a fibrous more open deposit forms in the presence of microwaves. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.