The application of a mixed conduction model and a new contact electric impedance (CEI) technique to predict quantitatively the electronic and ionic transport properties of oxide films on iron in a nearly neutral tetraborate solution is discussed. The mixed-conduction model emphasizes the coupling between the ionic defect structure and the electronic conductivity in an anodic film. Conventional electrochemical techniques have not been sufficient to characterize properly the electronic and ionic properties of anodic films on metals. The CEI technique makes it possible to distinguish between processes taking place at different rates within oxide films. Using this technique together with the contact electric resistance technique, we have found that the diffusion coefficient for the electronic conduction in the anodic film on iron is several orders of magnitude higher than that for the ionic transport. This shows that the passive film on iron is predominantly an electronic conductor. The fitting of the experimental results to the mixed conduction model gives a good agreement and thus supports the validity of this model in the present case.
Bojinov, M., Laitinen, T., Mäkelä, K., & Saario, T. (2001). Conduction mechanism of the passive film on iron based on contact electric impedance and resistance measurements. Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 148(6), B243-B250. https://doi.org/10.1149/1.1371976