Material and sample preparation

Different types of stainless steel as well as pure iron were investigated in different solutions. Table 1 lists the various compositions of these metals.

2.1.1 Sample preparation for SPM measurements

All samples were mechanically polished witha 0.25 mm diamond spray, then ultrasonically cleaned in ethanol. Prior to both STM and AFM measurements all substrates were cathodically pre-polarized at E « 100 mV vs. Ag/AgCI/NaCI (1 M).

2.1.2 Sample preparation for microelectrochemical measurements

The samples were mechanically ground with SiC emery paper up to 4000-grit and finally polished with 1 pm diamond paste. They were rinsed with distilled water and ultrasonically cleaned in ethanol. Prior to microelectrochemical measurements all substrates were cathodically prepolarized at -500 mV vs. SCE (saturated calomel electrode)

Table 1. Chemical composition [wt%] of materials examined
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