Localized filament corrosion products at the anodic head on a model Mg-1%Zn-0.4%Zr alloy surface were characterized by electron microscopy techniques of site-specific lamella prepared by focused ion beam milling. It is revealed that the anodic head propagates underneath a largely intact thin and dense MgO surface film and comprises dense aggregates of nano-crystalline MgO within a nano-porous Mg(OH)2 network. The findings contribute new supportive direct imaging insight into the source of the enhanced H2 evolution that accompanies anodic dissolution of Mg and its alloys.

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