Preventing corrosion 

Support from: Naval Research Laboratories

Current Students: Mitchell C. Groenenboom, Yasemin Basdogan

Overview: The U.S. Navy spends billions of dollars a year to prevent or minimize corrosion of its transport vehicles and equipment. A preventive approach is to apply a coating to the degradable metal surface such that the metal is shielded from redox chemistry that would result in corrosion (specifically, the oxygen reduction reaction, ORR). The efficacy of the anti-corrosion coating could be better engineered by doping it with elements that favorably modify the material’s electronic structure to better suppress the ORR. Unfortunately, rational guidelines for which dopants would be best are not available, severely limiting improvements to those obtained through trial and error. First principles multiscale modeling is expected to provide insights to suppress deleterious corrosion.