Correlation Between Ellipsometric and Electrical Measurements on Passive Iron

Abstract

Optical measurements of surface layers on passive iron electrodes are com-pared with electrical measurements of capacitance and other overpotential parameters. Results of these studies show that the surface layer on the elec-trode may be regarded as consisting of more than one part. Specifically, in neutral electrolyte there is a thin conducting layer of constant thickness present on the surface in addition to an electrically l imiting layer of variable thickness, while in acid electrolyte there is a layer located outside the elec-trically l imiting layer which grows at a constant rate to large thickness. This thick layer can be removed by holding the electrode at a potential slightly below the passive region. Changes in thickness of the electrically l imiting layer, determined optically, are consistent with a field dependent conduction mechanism. Many experimental investigations of passivity have employed electrical and electrochemical methods t

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