Toward the Inhibition of Material Corrosion using Graphene

Sunday, 15 February 2015
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Nancy Gabriela Estrada, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA
The corrosion of electrodes is a leading cause of failure in electrochemical systems. Strategies currently used to inhibit corrosion of these materials tend to be costly and bulky. Monolayer materials, like graphene, present a class of materials with desirable thermo-mechanical and anti-corrosion properties; that are relatively inexpensive, atomically thin, and amenable to scale-up. Using a scanning probe technique, known as atomic force microscopy (AFM), optical microscopy, and Raman spectroscopy, we plan to investigate graphene's ability to withstand corrosion in diverse electrochemical environments. We hypothesize that the basal planes of graphene will be able to protect underlying electroactive substrates from corrosion or passivation even in the presence of oxidants as strong as chlorine, but that the edge sites will be weak points where corrosion or passivation will occur. To date, we have successfully exfoliated layers of graphene and transferred them via the scotch tape method & drop casting to electroactive substrates, such as copper and silicon. We have confirmed their transfer using the aforementioned microscopy and spectroscopic techniques. Moreover, these techniques suggest that we have bilayer graphene and ongoing efforts are focused on transferring single layers of graphene. Once we have monolayer graphene, we will investigate their ability to withstand corrosion in electrochemically complex liquid environments. We suspect that graphene may be used as a corrosion barriers that will retain substrate electroactivity, provided that the edge sites are reduced.