New fundamental and environmental aspects of atmospheric corrosion
Keywords:Atmospheric corrosion, Copper, Zinc, Carboxylic acids, In-situ analysis, Interfaces
Atmospheric corrosion involves chemical, electrochemical, and physical processes in three phases (solid, liquid, and gas) and two interfaces (solid/liquid and liquid/gas). Because of inherent experimental and conceptual difficulties, scientific efforts to characterize this highly complex interfacial regime came relatively late into the field. With the access and development of surface and interface sensitive analytical techniques, it has lately become possible to perform molecular in situ analyses of the interfaces involved in atmospheric corrosion. This lecture presents some highlights from our fundamental research in atmospheric corrosion, performed at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. It includes results from the most recent efforts in our research group to provide a molecular understanding of the interfacial regime that governs atmospheric corrosion. Using copper or zinc as substrate and carboxylic acid as corrosion stimulator in the humidity-containing atmosphere, results have been obtained with particular emphasis on probing the metal oxide/water interface (by infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRAS) combined with the quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) and sum frequency generation (SFG)) and the water/gas interface (by SFG), respectively. While research in atmospheric corrosion traditionally has aimed at understanding how the environment influences the metal, the opposite question- how the metal influences the environment during atmospheric corrosion- may be of equally technical importance. Some examples of on-going research on new environmental aspects of atmospheric corrosion of zinc will also be presented.
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