ERC-2016-ADG, Start Date 2017-09-01
PI : Philippe Marcus
Ageing, degradation and failure of metallic materials are caused by the interaction of their surfaces with the environment. The aim of the CIMNAS project is to understand the mechanisms of corrosion initiation at the nanometric/atomic scale. To uncover the details of the corrosion chemistry, the research strategy emphasizes the use of advanced surface and interface science tools (e.g. surface spectroscopies, scanning tunnelling microscopy), electrochemistry and atomistic modelling.
Breakthroughs are expected in three areas :
A. Understanding the stability of surface oxide films, including nature and mechanisms of formation of chemical and structural defects during the early stage oxidation (studied by scanning tunnelling microscopy and electron spectroscopy)
B. Passivation of emerging grain boundaries at a metal surface (studied by in situ electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy)
C. Corrosion inhibition by adsorption of organic molecules (chemical and structural aspects at the molecular level).
The progress in corrosion chemistry at the nanometric/atomic scale will allow us to develop more advanced knowledge-based corrosion protection strategies, with several benefits provided by increased material performance and durability, such as reduced cost of corrosion, increased reliability of industrial installations, improved safety of people and health.
Resources include a team of highly experienced and recognised researchers headed by the PI, a unique apparatus recently installed at the PI’s lab, integrating surface spectroscopy, microscopy, and electrochemistry for in situ measurements in a closed system, novel experimental approaches, and a strong complementarity of experiments and modelling.