Avoiding oxidation with coating: graphene protected magnesium surfaces†
Magnesium is a promising material for automotive technology. Avoiding its spontaneous oxidation is, however, mandatory for a feasible industrial application of this metal. We perform computer simulations to demonstrate that a protective graphene layer can successfully avoid the oxidation of a magnesium material. This feature remains true even when the graphene layer has several simple defects, such as vacancies and Stone–Wales transformations. In fact, the defects actually increase the strength of the graphene/metal interaction, further enhancing the protective properties. These results are rationalized in terms of the low Mg cohesive energy, which allows the system to quickly reconstruct and adapt.