Philippe Marcus Vincent Maurice


1 Introduction 185

2 STM Data on the Passivation of Non-noble Metals and Alloys 186

3 Discussion 194

4 Conclusion and Outlook 196

5 References 196

Summary. Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) provides new possibilities to explore the link between the structure and the properties of thin oxide overlayers (passive films) formed electrochemically on well-defined metal surfaces. Passive oxide films protect many metals and alloys against corrosion. A better understanding of the growth mechanisms, the stability, and the degradation of passive films requires precise structural data. Recently, new results on the atomic structure of passive films have been obtained by STM. The important questions of crystallinity, epitaxy and the nature of defects have been addressed. Data on the structure of passive films on Ni, Cr, Fe, Al, and Fe-Cr alloys are reviewed with emphasis on atomically resolved structures. The perspectives of future developments are discussed.

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