Research Focus Area
Advanced and Nanostructured Materials
Journal or Book Title
Journal of the Electrochemical Society
High-purity aluminum foils were examined using positron annihilation spectroscopy (PAS) after dissolution for various times in 1 M NaOH at room temperature. Measurements of the S and W shape parameters of the annihilation photopeak at 511 keV show the presence of voids of at least nanometer dimension located at the metal-oxide film interface. The large Sparameter suggests that the metallic surface of the void is free of oxide. Voids are found in as-received foils and are also produced by dissolution in NaOH, evidently by a solid-state interfacial process. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) images of NaOH-dissolved foils, after stripping the surface oxide film in chromic-phosphoric acid bath, reveal cavities on the order of 100 nm size. The average cavity depth is in quantitative agreement with the PAS-derived thickness of the interfacial void-containing layer, and the dissolution time dependence of the defect layer S parameter closely parallels that of the fractional coverage of the foil surface by cavities; thus, the cavities are believed to be interfacial voids created along with those detected by PAS. The cavity distribution on the surface closely resembles that of corrosion pits formed by anodic etching in 1 M HCl, thereby suggesting that the interfacial voids revealed by AFM serve as sites for pit initiation.
ECS—The Electrochemical Society
Hebert, Kurt R.; Wu, Huiquan; Gessman, Thomas; and Lynn, Kelvin, "Positron Annihilation Spectroscopy Study of Interfacial Defects Formed by Dissolution of Aluminum in Aqueous Sodium Hydroxide" (2001). Chemical and Biological Engineering Publications. 43.