Corrosion results in large costs and environmental impact but can be controlled by thin oxide films that passivate the metal surfaces and hinder further oxidation or dissolution in an aqueous environment. The structure, chemistry, and thickness of these oxide films play a significant role in determining their anti-corrosion properties and the early-stage oxidation dynamics affect the properties of the developed oxide. Here, we use in situ X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) to study the early-stage oxidation of a Ni-Cr-Mo alloy at room temperature and up to 400 °C. Cr and Mo begin to oxidize immediately after exposure to O2, and Cr3+, Mo4+, and Mo6+ oxides are formed. In contrast, Ni does not contribute significantly to the oxide film. A self-limiting oxide thickness, which did not depend on temperature below 400 °C, is observed. This is attributed to the consumption of available Cr and Mo near the surface, which results in an enrichment of metallic Ni under the oxide. The self-limited oxide thickness is 6–8 Å, which corresponds to 3–4 atomic layers of cations in the oxide. At 400 °C, sublimation of Mo6+ oxide is observed, resulting in the formation of an almost pure layer of Cr2O3 on the alloy surface. Lastly, a mechanism is presented that explains the formation of the bi-layer oxide structure observed for Ni-Cr-Mo alloys, which involves the enhanced migration of hexavalent Mo ions in the electric field, which drives mass transport during oxidation according to both the Cabrera Mott model and the Point Defect Model.

Tidskriftnpj Materials Degradation
StatusPublished - 2024

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Materialkemi


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