Very good example
I'm sorry to say that I doubt I'll ever be able to replicate it. Perhaps, there is another method to be found more within the reach of the less advanced experimenter - like me.
I have very few doubts about the methods and results. In my line of work ECM (electrochemical migration) is a well researched, experienced and common problem. Some evidence indicates that more than migration is going on and that tends to confuse the search for a solution.
Example: Some analysis have indicated that ECM may increase the amounts of Sn, Pb, and/or Bi compared to analysis prior to ECM production. I wish I was more learned in the subject but I'm not. When this subject crosses into my experiments I wind up doing a lot of reading or looking for assistance when that fails.
"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality." - Einstein
"What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning." - Werner Heisenberg