An atom-probe field ion microscope study of the initial stages of oxidation of copper and copper-iron alloy

K. Hono, H. W. Pickering, T. Sakurai

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    15 Citations (Scopus)


    The initial oxidation stages of the (111) plane of copper and copper-iron alloys have been studied using the atom-probe field ion microscope (AP-FIM). For pure copper, the concentration depth profiles of the oxide formed ex-situ at 570 K were measured with the atom probe. In the case of the Cu-0.06at%Fe and Cu-1.2at%Fe alloys, the samples were first annealed in-situ in ultra-high vacuum (970 K for 30 s) in order to characterize the surface composition of the alloys prior to exposure to oxygen. Atom probe analysis showed that iron was enriched on the surface for the supersaturated Cu-1.2at%Fe alloy but not for the more dilute Cu-0.06at%Fe alloy. No iron enrichment on the surface, however, was found in either alloy in the equilibrated (aged) condition. Thus, surface enrichment of iron in the supersaturated alloy was concluded to be caused by a heterogeneous form of precipitation rather than by a surface segregation process. In-situ oxidation of the supersaturated Cu-1.2at%Fe alloy at 870 or 970 K led to the formation of both external and internal iron oxide. The thickness of the transition region between the iron oxide and alloy matrix was of atomic dimensions. The iron enrichment on the surface precluded the formation of the usual copper oxides at this early oxidation stage.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)327-344
    Number of pages18
    JournalApplied Surface Science
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1989 Jan

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Chemistry(all)
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Physics and Astronomy(all)
    • Surfaces and Interfaces
    • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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