Electrochemistry at Metallic Surfaces

Advanced metal-based technologies typically rely on novel surface and sensing functionalities, such as enhanced corrosion/oxidation resistance, passivation, biocompatibility, wetting, adhesion and/or bond-specific surface reactivity. In real-life applications, the functionality of material surfaces will depend on their interaction with the operating environment (e.g. humid polluted atmospheres, aqueous electrolytic solutions, complex physiological media). We address the effects of surface heterogeneities and surface modifications (e.g. by thermal, mechanical, chemical and/or laser treatments) of heterogenous metallic surfaces on their functionality, durability and sustainability through cutting-edge high-resolution electrochemical and surface analytical methods.


  • Development of novel surface treatments (by e.g. anodizing, pre-oxidation, chemical and heat treatments) for tailoring corrosion resistance, passivation, biocompatibility, wetting, adhesion and/or bond-specific surface reactivities for specific sensing ability.
  • Environmental interaction and durability of defective oxide films in harsh environments, as investigated by a broad spectrum of analytical techniques (e.g. electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, quartz crystal nanogravimetry, photo-electrochemistry, HAXPES/XPS, AES, environmental AFM/SKPFM, SEM/EDS, ellipsometry, Raman spectroscopy).
  • Fundamental studies of the in-vitro electrochemical stability and biocompatibility of heterogeneous metallic implant materials under static and dynamic loading conditions with special emphasis on passivation, corrosion product formation, galvanic coupling and active dissolution kinetics (i.e. metal-ion leaching) in confined spaces (i.e. in artificial crevices).
Your contacts

Dr. Patrik Schmutz

Dr. Patrik Schmutz
Group Leader (Deputy to the Head of the Laboratory)

Phone: +41 58 765 4845