Functional Surfaces in Reactive Environments
Advanced materials technologies often rely on novel surface and sensing functionalities, such as enhanced corrosion/oxidation resistance, biocompatibility, selective reactivity and/or hydrophobicity. 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 have long-standing expertise in the surface engineering of metals, alloys and their surficial oxide films for efficient long-term operation in reactive environments.
- Microstructural and (electro)chemical engineering of metals, alloys and their surficial oxide films to tailor corrosion resistance, biocompatibility, wetting, adhesion and/or bond-specific surface reactivities.
- Electrochemical reactivity and biocompatibility of metallic implant materials in complex physiological media under static and dynamic loading conditions.
- Tailoring of the microstructure-property relationships of functional oxide films during growth, processing and subsequent operation in reactive environments.
- Experimental investigations of the (electro)chemical reactivity and surface properties of passive and anodized oxide films on metallic surfaces in reactive environments by a cutting-edge analytical techniques (polarization, impedance spectroscopy, photo-electrochemistry, environmental AFM/SKPFM, HR-TEM, ellipsometry, XPS, AES, EXAFS, XANES, HAXPES).
- Electrochemical stability and biocompatibility of metallic implant materials in complex physiological media under static and dynamic mechanical loading conditions (with special emphasis on corrosion-induced leaching of toxic metal ions in crevices and on galvanic coupling between dissimilar implant materials in the human body).
- Development of novel surface treatments (i.e. anodization, pre-oxidation, chemical and heat treatments) for tuning the passivity and functionality of metallic surfaces.