A turn-off fluorescent sensor for metal ions quantifies corrosion in an organic solvent

26 December 2023, Version 2
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


We demonstrate that the corrosion of AISI 1045 medium carbon steel and pure aluminum can be quantified by the turn-off fluorescent sensor Phen Green-SK (PGSK) in ethanol-based solutions. We first evaluate the dependence of the chelation enhanced quenching of PGSK on iron and aluminum ion concentrations. Subsequently, we apply PGSK to examine the anodic dissolution of metal corrosion. The observed time-dependent PGSK-quenching quantifies the corrosion rates of two metals over 24-hours of immersion in ethanol-based solutions. The PGSK-based quantification of corrosion is compared to scanning electron microscopy and electrochemical techniques, including open circuit potential and Tafel extrapolation. The corrosion rates calculated from PGSK-quenching and Tafel extrapolation are in agreement, and both indicate a decrease in corrosion rates over 24-hours. Our work shows PGSK can efficiently sense and quantify anodic corrosion reactions at metal interfaces, especially in organic solvents or other non-aqueous environments where the application of electrochemical techniques can be limited by the poor conductivity of the surrounding medium.


Phen Green-SK
chelation enhanced quenching
fluorescence-based corrosion indicator
corrosion rate
Tafel extrapolation

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