Electron-optical and auger electron spectroscopy studies of a zirconium conversion coating on aluminium

Adeolu Adesoji Adediran, Makanjuola Oki, Sarah Abidemi Akintola, Bamidele Ogunsemi, Esther Titilayo Akinlabi

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The techniques of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), ultramicrotomy and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) were employed to examine conversion coatings on aluminium developed from a zirconium nitrate/fluoride solution. The coating developed slowly on a microscopic metal substrate with islands of zirconium-rich centres within the coating matrix. According to the TEM assessment, the coating thickness was 30 nm for specimens treated for 60 s and 50 nm for those treated for 900 s. The population of the zirconium-rich centers ranged from 2.8 × 10 12 m -2 to 6 × 10 12 m -2 over the treatment period. According to Auger-electron-spectroscopy in-depth analyses, the coating is composed of three diffused layers with an outer region of zirconium oxide followed by a layer of aluminium oxide/hydroxide and an inner layer at the metal/coating interface comprising compounds of aluminium and fluorides. The corrosion-resistance and paint-adhesion characteristics of the zirconium conversion coating are superior to those of bare aluminium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalMateriali in Tehnologije
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Corrosion
  • Ultramicrotomy
  • Zirconium conversion coating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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