Dissolution behavior of Al2 CuMg (S phase) in chloride and chromate conversion coating solutions

Yuhchae Yoon, R. G. Buchheit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The dissolution rate and Cu surface enrichment of sputter-deposited Al2 CuMg thin films exposed to 0.5 M NaCl solutions and chromate conversion coating solutions has been characterized. Dissolution rates were measured using an electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance, and Cu surface enrichment was characterized by energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). Surface morphology and Volta potential were characterized by scanning probe microscopy. In 0.5 M NaCl solutions, Al2 CuMg dissolves rapidly by dealloying, forming a passivating Cu-rich surface layer. Upon layer breakdown a dissolution rate of about 0.08 μg cm2 s was observed. In chromate conversion coating baths, Al2 CuMg demonstrated a net mass loss rate, which included mass loss from dissolution and mass gain from film formation. Cu surface enrichment was not detected after conversion coating. By comparison, pure Al thin films exhibited a net mass gain under similar conditions. Al2 CuMg samples that were first chromate conversion coated and then exposed to 0.5 M NaCl solution exhibited low dissolution rates, 0.001 μg cm2 s, suggesting that the film formed in the conversion bath was somewhat protective. EDS showed that Cu enrichment occurred on conversion-coated Al2 CuMg during exposure to 0.5 M NaCl, indicating that conversion coatings on Al2 CuMg cannot completely suppress Cu surface enrichment, Cu redistribution, and deposition corrosion phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)B151-B155
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrochemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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