Hannah Jane Buchanan


Presentation: 10:45-12:00, Kennedy Union Ballroom



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Corrosion is a form of material degradation that causes billions of dollars of damage per year. Silver is often used as an indicator in atmospheric corrosion studies to better understand the effect of environmental chemistry on corrosion severity. The chemical composition of silver corrosion product films is commonly analyzed in atmospheric corrosion studies; however, changes in these films after initial formation are currently unaccounted for and poorly understood. This study utilized electrochemical coulometric techniques and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) to characterize the composition of lab-grown silver corrosion product films. Silver corrosion product films were grown by electrochemical deposition in either NaOH, KCl, KBr, KI, and Na₂S solutions, resulting in Ag₂O, AgCl, AgBr, AgI, and Ag₂S, respectively. Multicomponent films were grown by depositing successive layers after changing the electrolyte. It was observed that when multicomponent films were grown in decreasing order by corrosion product stability, separate layers were observed for each corrosion product upon later characterization; however, when deposited in reverse order only a single corrosion product film was observed corresponding to the last electrolyte used. Further, it was observed that less stable silver corrosion products rapidly converted to a more stable corrosion product when immersed in the corresponding electrolyte. This rapid change indicates that initially formed silver corrosion products may be replaced during atmospheric corrosion by other more stable products. Applications of this phenomenon could include an improved technique for atmospheric chloride deposition rate characterization and improved Ag/AgCl reference electrode utilization.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Douglas C. Hansen, Ron A. Zeszut

Primary Advisor's Department

Chemical and Materials Engineering


Stander Symposium, School of Engineering

Institutional Learning Goals

Scholarship; Practical Wisdom; Critical Evaluation of Our Times

Silver Corrosion: Substitution Reactions within the Corrosion Product