Nanoplasmonic sensing and QCM-D as ultrasensitive complementary techniques for kinetic corrosion studies of aluminum nanoparticles

January 15, 2011

Corrosion (oxidation) kinetics of Al nanodisks, 262 nm in diameter and 20 nm in height, was measured in degassed Milli-Q water at 23 °C and neutral pH by quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) and nanoplasmonic sensing. The former detects the changes of the resonance frequency and the damping of the oscillation of a piezoelectric quartz crystal resonator. The latter detects the changes of the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) in the metallic part of the Al nanoparticle, caused both by the shrinking metallic core and the changes in the dielectric environment as the oxide grows. Highly resolved kinetic data were obtained which show different corrosion stages. The two techniques yield complementary information not obtainable with one technique alone. Two main corrosion mechanisms, namely homogeneous oxide growth and nanoparticle fragmentation and roughening, are distinguished. The time dependence of the corrosion kinetics, determined using QCM-D, is in agreement with weight gain studies of bulk Al found in literature. The nanoplasmonic sensing measurements are compared to analytical model calculations of LSPR shifts which yield an estimate for the increase of oxide thickness during homogeneous oxide growth.


Markus Schwind, Christoph Langhammer, Bengt Kasemo, Igor Zoric

Published in

Applied Surface Science


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