The role of stress in self-ordered porous anodic oxide formation and corrosion of aluminum
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The phenomenon of plastic flow induced by electrochemical reactions near room temperature is significant in porous anodic oxide (PAO) films, charging of lithium batteries and stress-corrosion cracking (SCC). As this phenomenon is poorly understood, fundamental insight into flow from our work may provide useful information for these problems. In-situ monitoring of the stress state allows direct correlation between stress and the current or potential, thus providing fundamental insight into technologically important deformation and failure mechanisms induced by electrochemical reactions. A phase-shifting curvature interferometry was designed to investigate the stress generation mechanisms on different systems. Resolution of our curvature interferometry was found to be ten times more powerful than that obtained by state-of-art multiple deflectometry technique and the curvature interferometry helps to resolve the conflicting reports in the literature. During this work, formation of surface patterns during both aqueous corrosion of aluminum and formation of PAO films were investigated. Interestingly, for both cases, stress induced plastic flow controls the formation of surface patterns.
Pore formation mechanisms during anodizing of the porous aluminum oxide films was investigated . PAO films are formed by the electrochemical oxidation of metals such as aluminum and titanium in a solution where oxide is moderately soluble. They have been used extensively to design numerous devices for optical, catalytic, and biological and energy related applications, due to their vertically aligned-geometry, high-specific surface area and tunable geometry by adjusting process variables. These structures have developed empirically, in the absence of understanding the process mechanism. Previous experimental studies of anodizing-induced stress have extensively focused on the measurement of average stress, however the measurement of stress evolution during anodizing does not provide sufficient information to understand the potential stress mechanisms. We developed a new method, which enables us to discriminate the potential stress mechanisms during anodizing and characterize the evolution of the stress profile during film growth. Using stress measurement and characterization techniques, we demonstrated the evolution of the stress profile during the film formation and discussed the role of stress on the PAO film formation. Compressive stress builds up linearly during the anodizing, while barrier oxide film gets thicker until the onset of the pore initiation. Both barrier layer thickness and the integrated oxide stress decreased rapidly to the steady-state period when pore initiation began. The morphology change and stress transients points out the transition from elastic to plastic oxide behavior, similar to those observed in other situations such as lithium intercalation into silicon. The stress profile is consistent with the stress gradient needed to drive plastic flow observed experimentally. We also addressed the dependence of overall stress generation on applied current density. Apparently, stress caused by expansion or contraction of oxide and metal interface depends on the volume change due to overall reactions.
In the last chapter, the stress generation during alkaline Al corrosion will be discussed. The enhancement of mechanical degradation by corrosion is the basis for the damage process such as stress-corrosion cracking. Understanding the synergistic effect of stress on stress-corrosion cracking mechanism is necessary to design new materials to improve the safety and viability of existing energy conversion systems. the high-resolution in-situ stress measurements during Al corrosion in alkaline solution was presented, supported by characterization techniques and Fast Fourier Transform analysis. Unprecedented curvature resolution of curvature interferometry permits the monitoring of stress during extended periods of corrosion of thick metal samples. Evolution of concaved-shaped surface patterns is in a great harmony with recorded tensile stress. Furthermore, absolute value of tensile stress onset of the plasticity depends on the dissolution rate of metal and yield stress of metal. The measurements reveal corrosion-induced tensile stress generation, leading to surface plasticity. This finding is evidence that corrosion can directly bring about plasticity, and may be relevant to mechanism of corrosion-induced degradation.