Combined in Situ Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation Monitoring, Indirect Nanoplasmonic Sensing, and Vibrational Sum Frequency Spectroscopic Monitoring of Alkanethiol-Protected Copper Corrosion

May 8, 2013


In this study, we have applied three techniques to simultaneously and in situ study the initial stage of corrosion of copper protected by a self-assembled monolayer of octadecanethiol (ODT). We combined quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D), indirect nanoplasmonic sensing (INPS), and vibrational sum frequency spectroscopy (VSFS) and obtained complementary information about mass uptake and optical and spectroscopic changes taking place during the initial corrosion phase. All three techniques are very sensitive to the formation of a corrosion film (thickness in the range 0–0.41 nm) under mildly corrosive conditions (dry air, <0.5% relative humidity). The three techniques yield information about the viscoelasticity of the corrosion film (QCM-D), the homogeneity of the corrosion reaction on the surface (INPS), and the stability of the ODT protection layer (VSFS). Furthermore, by also studying the corrosion process in humid air (ca. 70% relative humidity), we illustrate how the combination of these techniques can be used to differentiate between simultaneously occurring processes, such as water adsorption and corrosion product formation.


Markus Schwind, Saman Hosseinpour, C. Magnus Johnson, Christoph Langhammer, Igor Zorić, Christofer Leygraf, Bengt Kasemo

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