Articles

Corrosion of Electronic Materials and Devices

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Science  17 Oct 1986:
Vol. 234, Issue 4774, pp. 340-345
DOI: 10.1126/science.234.4774.340

Abstract

Electronic materials and devices corrode in the same ways as automobiles, bridges, and pipelines, but their typically small dimensions make them orders of magnitude more susceptible to corrosion failure. As elsewhere, the corrosion involves interactions with the environment. Under control, these interactions can be put to use, as in the formation of protective and functional oxide films for superconducting devices. Otherwise, they cause damage, as in the electrolytic dissolution of conductors, even gold, in the presence of humidity and ionic contamination from atmospheric particles and gases. Preventing corrosion entails identifying the damaging interactions and excluding species that allow them to occur.