2009 Volume 49 Issue 12 Pages 1926-1931
The oxidation of pure copper in oxygen with and without water vapor was investigated as a function of temperature, oxygen pressure, and water vapor pressure using thermogravimetric analysis. The rate of the oxidation was increased with increasing temperature from 500 to 700°C and followed by the parabolic rate law regardless of the presence of water vapor. The activation energy for the oxidation was 90.67 kJ/mol in dry oxygen and 95.86 kJ/mol in oxygen with water vapor. The change of oxygen pressure without water vapor does not affect the oxidation rate at given temperatures. However, increasing water vapor pressure from 0.39 to 0.58 atm resulted in higher oxidation rate due to the increase of copper vacancies. CuO whiskers were observed and their growth seems to be enhanced by the presence of water vapor.