Fredriksson, W.; Malmgren, S.; Gustafsson, T.; Gorgoi, M.; Edstrom, K.: Full depth profile of passive films on 316L stainless steel based on high resolution HAXPES in combination with ARXPS. Applied Surface Science 258 (2012), p. 5790-5797

Depth profiles of the passive films on stainless steel were based on analysis with the non-destructive hard X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (HAXPES) technique in combination with the angular resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (ARXPS). The analysis depth with ARXPS is within the passive film thickness, while the HAXPES technique uses higher excitation energies (between 2 and 12 keV) also nondestructively probing the chemical content underneath the film. Depth profiles were done within and underneath the passive film of 316L polarized in acidic solution. The passive film thickness was estimated to 2.6 nm for a sample that was polarized at 0.6 V and the main component in the passive film is, as expected, chromium. From the high resolution HAXPES spectra we suggest chromium in three different oxidation states present. Also for iron three oxides were detected. Gradients of chromium and iron concentrations and oxidation states within the film and an enrichment of nickel within a 0.5 nm layer directly underneath the passive film are some of the results discussed.