We investigate the passivation of functional metal surfaces in reactive environments (e.g. aqueous and electrolytic solutions, controlled atmospheric environments) by in-situ electrochemical analysis techniques (e.g. polarisation measurements, impedance spectroscopy, environmental AFM and photo-electrochemistry).
Mechanistic models are developed to describe the (inter)relationships between the microstructure (e.g. thickness, phase constitution and defect structure) of the oxy-hydroxide thin films (thickness < 10 nm) and the material surface properties (e.g. corrosion resistance, adhesive strength, electrical and tribological properties). Of particular interest is the effect of the defect distribution in the oxide film on the initiation of localized corrosion processes.
At present, our research is mainly focussed on surficial oxide films on Al- and Mg-based alloys (see figure: surface-orientation-dependent passivation behaviour of Al-Cr-Fe complex metallic alloys), as well as the controlled growth of functional ultrathin oxide films for applications in microelectronics and energy-related technologies.
Your contacts: Patrik Schmutz, Lars Jeurgens