Characterization of Iron Oxides Commonly Formed as Corrosion Products on Steel
For fundamental studies of the atmospheric corrosion of steel, it is useful to identify the iron oxide phases present in rust layers. The nine iron oxide phases, iron hydroxide (Fe(OH)2), iron trihydroxide (Fe(OH)3), goethite (α-FeOOH), akaganeite (β-FeOOH), lepidocrocite (γ-FeOOH), feroxyhite (δ-FeOOH), hematite (α-Fe2O3), maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) and magnetite (Fe3O4) are among those which have been reported to be present in the corrosion coatings on steel. Each iron oxide phase is uniquely characterized by different hyperfine parameters from Mössbauer analysis, at temperatures of 300K, 77K and 4K. Many of these oxide phases can also be identified by use of Raman spectroscopy. The relative fraction of each iron oxide can be accurately determined from the Mössbauer subspectral area and recoil-free fraction of each phase. The different Mössbauer geometries also provide some depth dependent phase identification for corrosion layers present on the steel substrate. Micro-Raman spectroscopy can be used to uniquely identify each iron oxide phase to a high spatial resolution of about 1 µm.
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