Vibrational spectroscopy has been successfully used for decades in studies of the atmospheric corrosion processes, mainly to identify the nature of corrosion products but also to quantify their amounts. In this review article, a summary of the main achievements is presented with focus on how the techniques infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and vibrational sum frequency spectroscopy can be used in the field. Several different studies have been discussed where these instruments have been used to assess both the nature of corrosion products as well as the properties of corrosion inhibitors. Some of these techniques offer the valuable possibility to perform in-situ measurements in real time on ongoing corrosion processes, which allows the kinetics of formation of corrosion products to be studied, and also minimizes the risk of changing the surface properties which may occur during ex-situ experiments. Since corrosion processes often occur heterogeneously over a surface, it is of great importance to obtain a deeper knowledge about atmospheric corrosion phenomena on the nano scale, and this review also discusses novel vibrational microscopy techniques allowing spectra to be acquired with a spatial resolution of 20 nm.
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