Application of In Situ Liquid Cell Transmission Electron Microscopy in Corrosion Studies: A Critical Review of Challenges and Achievements
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
Identifying corrosion initiation events in metals and alloys demands techniques that can provide temporal and spatial resolution simultaneously. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) enables one to obtain microstructural and chemical descriptors of materials at atomic/nanoscopic level and has been used in corrosion studies of many metal-electrolyte combinations. Conventionally, ex situ and quasi in situ TEM studies of pre- and post-corroded samples were performed, but possible experimental artifacts such as dehydrated surfaces might not fully represent the real interfacial conditions as compared to those when actually immersed in the electrolyte. Recent advances in liquid cell transmission electron microscopy (LC-TEM) allows for in situ monitoring morphological and even compositional evolutions in materials resulting from interaction with gas or liquid environments. Corrosion science, as a challenging field of research, can benefit from this unparalleled opportunity to investigate many complicated corroding systems in aqueous environments at high resolution. However, “real life” corrosion with LC-TEM is still not straightforward in implementation and there are limitations and challenging experimental considerations for conducting reliable examinations. Thus, this study has been devoted to discussing the challenges of in situ LC-TEM wherein state-of-the-art achievements in the field of relevance are reviewed.