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Exposure of Oxidized Copper Surfaces to Aqueous Na2S Solution Studied with Soft X-Ray Spectroscopy


Kristiansen,  Paw Toldbad
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Division of Molecular and Condensed Matter Physics, Uppsala University;
Inorganic Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Hollmark, H. M., Vegelius, J. R., Kristiansen, P. T., Werme, L., & Duda, L. C. (2011). Exposure of Oxidized Copper Surfaces to Aqueous Na2S Solution Studied with Soft X-Ray Spectroscopy. Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 158(1), C1-C5. doi:10.1149/1.3504891.

We present results from X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and resonant inelastic X-ray scattering (RIXS) of oxidized polycrystalline copper surfaces [Cu(I) and Cu(II), respectively] exposed to a 1.0 mM aqueous solution of Na2S (sodium sulfide) for several hours. Scanning electron microscopy reveals that the Cu oxide surfaces attain a much rougher texture upon sodium sulfide exposure, and that the exposed Cu(II) oxide sample exhibits areas with crystallites. The XAS spectra show that sodium sulfide effectively reduces Cu(II) oxide to Cu(I) compounds. The RIXS spectra of the exposed surfaces closely resemble those of the Cu2O reference sample with the notable exception of their Cu LIII,II-RIXS spectra. We conclude that copper evidently forms a Cu(I) compound with oxygen but with a Cu 3d-band of much reduced width, pointing to the possibility of a more complex compound containing both oxygen and sulfur.