Passivation of Copper: Benzotriazole Films on Cu (111)

Federico Grillo, Daniel Walton Tee, Stephen Malcolm Francis, Herbert Anton Fruchtl, Neville V Richardson

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63 Citations (Scopus)


Benzotriazole (BTAH) has been used as a copper corrosion inhibitor since the 1950s. However, the molecular level detail of how adsorption and surface passivation occur remains a matter of debate. BTAH adsorption on a Cu(111) single crystal has been investigated from medium coverage to multilayer using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), temperature-programmed desorption (TPD), high resolution electron energy loss (HREEL) spectroscopy and supporting density functional theory (DFT) calculations. Both physisorbed and chemisorbed phases are observed. One extended and highly ordered self-assembled metal−organic phase is seen at saturation coverage and above. A metastable phase is also observed. Complete desorption occurs at ca. 600 K. Those structures are critically discussed in the light of some of the various adsorption models reported in the literature and an alternative adsorption model is proposed. These results allow a further understanding of the interaction between benzotriazole and copper and, in turn, may help understanding the mechanism for protection of copper and copper alloys from corrosion, substantially contributing to a long-standing debate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8667-8675
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number16
Early online date31 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2014


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