A new experimental setup for studying reactions occurring in the metal-atmosphere interface by applying <i>in situ</i> infrared reflection- absorption spectroscopy (IRRAS) is presented. It consists of a gasmixing unit, where the moist air is generated with or without corrosive gases, the reaction cell for the <i>in situ</i> investigations, and an optical system coupled with a Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrometer. For testing the unit, a specimen of pure copper was used, where the growth of Cu<sub>2</sub>O on the polished surface could be observed during time-resolved measurements in synthetic air containing 80% RH (relative humidity). For comparison of the experimental results obtained, a computer simulation program was developed in order to calculate the peak position, the peak height, the peak width, and the thickness of the surface layer formed during the atmospheric corrosion. The simulation software is based on the four-phase model of covered surfaces.
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