Applied Surface Science, Vol.201, No.1-4, 85-95, 2002
Initial chemical transport of reducing elements and chemical reactions in oxide cathode base metal
In the present work, the formation of compounds associated to the diffusion of reducing elements (Mg and Al) to the nickel surface of a one-piece oxide cathode has been studied. Those compounds have been evidenced after the annealing steps at high temperature performed on cathode base metal prior to the emitting coating deposition. Therefore, they form the "initial" interface between the nickel and the coating, in other words, the interface existing at the beginning of cathode life. Extensive analysis to characterize the nickel base prior to coating deposition has been performed by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy (GDOES). TEM and AES analysis have allowed to identify for the first time a spinel compound of MgAl2O4. The preferential distribution of the different compounds on the nickel surface has been studied by EDX mapping. Experimental profiles of diffusion of the reducing elements in the nickel have been obtained over the entire thickness of the material by GDOES. The mechanism of formation of these compounds together with a related diffusion model are proposed. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.