Investigation of the Metal–Oxide Buried Interfacial Zone with Linear Sweep Voltammetry

Cocke, D.L.; Mencer, D.E.; Hossain, M.A.; Schennach, R.; Kesmez, M.; Parga, J.R.; Naugle, D.G.
September 2004
Journal of Applied Electrochemistry;Sep2004, Vol. 34 Issue 9, p919
Academic Journal
Interest in copper as a technologically important material needs to be met with greater understanding of the fundamental chemical reactions of copper. In particular, there is still a lack of universal agreement on the oxidation process of bulk copper and thin copper films. In this study, the authors demonstrate the use of linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) to study buried structures in the oxide layers on copper. In particular, LSV can be used to detect reactions at buried interfaces. It is also emphasized that surface scientists should recognize Cu3O2 and the decomposition of copper oxides at the metal–oxide interface in new studies on copper oxidation and in interpreting already existing copper oxidation data. The two key parameters that drive oxide growth and decomposition are demonstrated to be oxygen activity and the free energies of formation of the oxides (per mole of oxide ion). The complex nature of the oxidation of copper, as well as other metals and alloys, can be described qualitatively using the Modified Cabrera–Mott (C–M) Model. Surface studies of oxidation of metals and alloys need to be supported and complemented by other techniques such as chemical or electrochemical methods.


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