Journal of Materials Research


Oxidation of copper alloys studied by analytical transmission electron microscopy cross-sectional specimens

Mari Honkanena1 c1, Minnamari Vippolaa1 and Toivo Lepistöa1

a1 Department of Materials Science, Tampere University of Technology, FIN-33101 Tampere, Finland


In this work, the oxide structures of three polycrystalline copper grades, unalloyed oxygen-free (OF) copper and alloyed CuAg and deoxidized high-phosphor (DHP) copper, were studied using cross-sectional analytical transmission electron microscopy (AEM) samples. The oxidation treatments were carried out in air at 200 and 350 °C for different exposure times. The detailed oxide layer structures were characterized by AEM. At 200 °C, a nano-sized Cu2O layer formed on the all copper grades. At 350 °C, a nano-sized Cu2O layer formed first on the all copper grades. After longer exposure time at 350 °C, a crystalline CuO layer grew on the Cu2O layer of the unalloyed OF-copper. In the case of the alloyed CuAg- and DHP-copper, a crystalline and columnar shaped layer, consisting of Cu2O and CuO grains, formed on the nanocrystalline Cu2O layer. At 350 °C, the unalloyed copper oxidized notably slower than the alloyed coppers, and its oxide structures were different than those of the alloyed coppers.

(Received August 24 2007)

(Accepted January 30 2008)

Key Words:

  • Cu;
  • Oxidation;
  • Transmission electron microscopy (TEM)


c1 Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail:

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