We report on an optical microscopy technique for the analysis of corrosion kinetics of metal thin films in microreactor systems and use it to study the role of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide surfactant as a corrosion inhibitor in a copper-gold galvanic coplanar microsystem. A minimum in the dissolution rate of copper is observed when the surfactant concentration is ∼0.8 mM. To explain why the inhibitory role of the surfactant does not extend to higher concentrations, we use zero resistance ammetry with separated half cells and show that while the surfactant inhibits cathodic reactions on gold, it also promotes the corrosion of copper because of the catalytic action of bromide counterions. These two competing processes lead to the observed minimum in the dissolution rate.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces