Scientists from Chung-Ang University, Korea, led by Prof Hyungbin SonKorea, have observed a unique way in which graphene forms a hybrid layer that prevents copper corrosion.
A challenge with using copper is that its surface oxidizes over time, even under ambient conditions, ultimately leading to its corrosion. Thus, finding a long-term method to protect the exposed surfaces of copper is a valuable goal. One common way of protecting metal surfaces is by coating them with anti-corrosive substances. Graphene is studied extensively as a candidate for anti-corrosive coating, as it serves as a barrier to gas molecules. But, despite these properties, graphene sheets have been said to protect copper from corrosion only over short periods (less than 24 hours). In fact, surprisingly, after this initial period, graphene appears to possibly increase the rate of copper corrosion, which is completely in contrast to its anti-corrosive nature.