Formation Mechanism of Alumina Nanotubes By Anodization of Aluminum Alloy

Wednesday, 4 October 2017: 11:20
Camellia 3 (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)


Anodic porous alumina film, a typical self-ordered nanohole material formed by anodizing aluminum in an appropriate acidic solution, is used as a starting material of nanofabrication of functional devices besides a corrosion resistant surface oxide. In contrast to anodic titania nanotubes, anodic porous alumina is generally compact without spacing between the cell boundary. The tubular shape of anodic titania is resulted in enrichment of fluoride between cells which is originated form electrolyte and more soluble than anodic titania. In the case of aluminum, it is reported that enrichment of only sulfate or ethylene glycol originated form electrolytes produces alumina nanotubes by anodization. In the present paper, the formation mechanism of anodic alumina nanotubes will be discussed.

STEM image of vertical cross section prepared by ion-milling of the anodic film, which was formed on 99.99 % pure aluminum in oxalic acid at 160V, indicated close-packed hexagonal cell arrays with small voids of 15-20 nm at the triple cell points. Dark field STEM image clearly revealed a bright particle in the each void suggesting the presence of a heavy metal because of Z-contrast. By EDX point analysis, Cu enriched particles were found in the voids at the triple points. Nevertheless, in the case of anodic film formed at the similar condition on AC8A cast alloy including 0.97 % of Cu, tubular cells with the space of approximately 50 nm between cell boundary were formed unlike the case of pure aluminum including 60 ppm of Cu. Numerous branching of pores were also observed. EDX mapping revealed that Si was enriched in the outer layer of the cells and Cu was enriched at the area near cell boundaries. Therefore, it is deduced that enrichment of Cu at the cell boundaries produces the tubular cells by accelerating oxide dissolution similar to the cases of enrichment of sulfate and ethylene glycol.