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Photocurrent spectroscopy in passivity studies


The aim of this article is to present photocurrent spectroscopy as useful in situ technique for the physicochemical characterization of passive films and corrosion layers. The response of (both amorphous and crystalline) semiconductor/electrolyte junction under irradiation is treated and discussed in order to get information about solid-state properties such as band gap and flat band potential. The possibility to use Photocurrent Spectroscopy (PCS), in a quantitative way, to get information on the composition of corrosion layers is discussed through a semiempirical correlation between the band gap of the oxides (or hydroxides) and the difference of electronegativity of their constituents. Finally, a model able to simulate the photoelectrochemical behavior of double-layered films is reported.