Table of Contents
ISRN Corrosion
Volume 2013, Article ID 846405, 7 pages
Research Article

Copper Corrosion by Atmospheric Pollutants in the Electronics Industry

1Engineering Institute, Autonomous University of Baja California, Boulevard Benito Juarez y Calle a la Normal S/N, Colonia Insurgentes Este, 21280 Mexicali, BCN, Mexico
2Polytechnic University of Baja California, Calle de la Claridad S/N, Colonia Plutarco Elias Calles, 21376 Mexicali, BCN, Mexico
3National Center of Metallurgical Research, Avenue Gregorio del Amo 8, 28040 Madrid, Spain

Received 10 July 2013; Accepted 23 August 2013

Academic Editors: L. Bazzi, G. Bereket, and A. Hermann

Copyright © 2013 Benjamin Valdez Salas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) is considered one of the most corrosive atmospheric pollutants. It is a weak, diprotic, reducing acid, readily soluble in water and dispersed into the air by winds when emitted from natural, industrial, and anthropogenic sources. It is a pollutant with a high level of toxicity impairing human health and the environment quality. It attacks copper forming thin films of metallic sulphides or dendrite whiskers, which are cathodic to the metal substrate, enhancing corrosion. H2S is actively involved in microbially influenced corrosion (MIC) which develops in water, involving sulphur based bacteria, in oxidizing and reducing chemical reactions. H2S is found in concentrated geothermal brines, in the atmosphere of geothermal fields, and in municipal sewage systems. Other active atmospheric pollutants include SOX, NOX, and CO. This investigation reports on the effects of H2S on copper in microelectronic components of equipment and devices, with the formation of nonconductive films that lead to electrical failures.