This paper reports results from x-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES) studies during polarization of thin sputter-deposited iron oxide films in acidic solutions. The dissolution rate of iron oxides in acidic solutions was found to be strongly increased by the presence of Fe2+ in the oxide. During anodic polarization in acidic solutions, it is found that dissolution is accelerated by chloride anions in comparison with sulfates. In HCl solutions of increasing concentration, not only does the pH decrease, but also the increasing chloride concentration accelerates dissolution. On the other hand, the dissolution rate in sulfuric acid does not depend on the sulfate (bisulfate) concentration. During anodic polarization, the dissolution rate is fairly independent of the potential, except at very high anodic potentials, and the XANES spectra reveal no changes in the average oxide valence during anodic polarization. Thus the dissolution that takes place is mostly chemical rather than electrochemical. During cathodic polarization, the dissolution rate is independent of the anion in the electrolyte. The findings are interpreted in terms of the negative surface charge of n-type oxides at potentials lower than the flatband potential, retarding anion adsorption on the surface. Hence it is suggested that the detrimental role of chloride anions on the stability of iron oxide films is due to a surface complexation effect. The findings and their relevance to the stability of natural passive films on iron surfaces are discussed.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of the Electrochemical Society|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1997|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Surfaces and Interfaces