James Noël


Contact Information

Title: Assistant Professor
Office: Rm 20 ChB 
Phone (Office): ext 88029
E-mail: jjnoel@uwo.ca

Physical & Analytical Teaching Division

Materials: Design, Function and Characterization

Electrochemistry and Corrosion Studies

Group Website


B.Sc., M.Sc. Guelph; Ph.D. Manitoba


  • Florence Bucke Science Prize of the Western University Faculty of Science, 2023
  • Fellow of the Electrochemical Society, 2022
  • Western University Faculty Scholar, 2022-2024
  • Western Faculty of Science Distinguished Research Professor, 2019-20 and 2020-21
  • R.C. Jacobsen Award of The Electrochemical Society, Canadian Section Canadienne, 2018
  • Lash Miller Award of The Electrochemical Society, Canadian Section Canadienne, 2003


The Noël group employs innovative, multidisciplinary approaches to solving problems that straddle the boundaries of chemistry, physics, earth sciences, metallurgy, and materials science, especially those related to  materials electrochemistry and corrosion/degradation . This often requires designing and constructing specialized apparatus for novel experiments or extreme environments, performing high resolution surface analyses and precise measurements of fundamental physical chemical quantities by electrochemical and other appropriate means, and detailed data analysis, fitting, and computer modeling. Much of our work is related to ensuring the safety and longevity of metallic containers for the permanent disposal of nuclear fuel waste.

Our lab is well equipped for electrochemical measurements, such as standard potentiometric and voltammetric methods, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, photoelectrochemistry, high temperature electrochemistry (to 200°C), rotating disc and rotating ring-disc electrode approaches, microelectrode and microelectrode array techniques, micro-electrochemical cell experiments, resistance probe corrosion rate monitoring, etc. We also work closely with Surface Science Western, Canada’s premier surface analytical facility, and the Western Nanofabrication Laboratory to acquire detailed surface structure and composition determinations that complement and inform the results of our electrochemical and corrosion experiments.

We seek to explore and resolve issues of fundamental scientific importance that are also industrially relevant.

Some examples of work performed or in progress include:

  • development, calibration, and use of microelectrode sensors to measure pH, chloride concentration, and redox potential within the pore waters of compacted bentonite clay.
  • high resolution, in situ monitoring of corrosion processes within a sub-millimetre defect in a copper coating on steel using X-ray micro-tomography (synchrotron source at Advanced Photon Source, ANL, and lab-based source in Western Dept. of Anthropology with Prof. Andrew Nelson).
  • understanding the mechanism and consequences of hydrogen absorption into metals using in situ neutron reflectometry combined with electrochemistry (at Canadian Neutron Beam Centre), and by positron annihilation spectroscopy (in Western Dept. of Physics and Astronomy with Prof. Peter Simpson).
  • design and construction of pressure cells for experiments to probe the interactions of metals, clay, groundwater, and microorganisms under nuclear waste repository conditions.
  • exploring fundamental aspects of oxide film growth on metals using in situ neutron reflectometry combined with electrochemistry (at Canadian Neutron Beam Centre), cold neutron depth profiling (at NIST Center for Neutron Research), and medium energy ion scattering (at the Tandetron Laboratory in Western Dept. of Physics and Astronomy with Prof. Lyudmila Goncharova).
  • mechanistic studies of the roles of alloying elements and hydrogen in the crevice corrosion of nickel-based superalloys and titanium at elevated temperatures.


  • 1301 – Discovering Chemical Structure
  • 1302 – Discovering Chemical Energetics
  • 3330 - Industrial Chemistry
  • 3372 - Instrumental Analytical Chemistry
  • 9524 - Electrochemistry


  • E. Salehi Alaei, M. Guo, J. Chen, M. Behazin, E. Bergendal, C. Lilja, D.W. Shoesmith, and J.J. Noël, “The transition from used fuel container corrosion under oxic conditions to corrosion in an anoxic environment”, Mater. Corr., (2023) 1-17 https://doi.org/10.1002/maco.202313757.  
  • M. Badley, D.W. Shoesmith, and J.J. Noël, "Effect of hydrogen on the dissolution of uranium dioxide in peroxide-containing environments", J. Electrochem. Soc., 170 (2023) 096506, https://doi.org/10.1149/1945-7111/acf52b.
  • M.S. Yang, J. Huang, H. Zhang, J.J. Noël, Y.S. Hedberg, J. Chen, U. Eduok, I. Barker, J.D. Henderson, C. Xian, H. Zhang, and J. Zhu, "Study on the self-repairing effect of nanoclay in powder coatings for corrosion protection." Coatings, 13 (2023) 1220, https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings13071220.
  • A.M. Morgan, J.D. Henderson, B.A. Kobe, M.C. Biesinger, and J.J. Noël, “Investigating the structure of the oxide on Ni-Cr-Mo alloys while presenting a novel method for analysis of complex oxides using QUASES”, Surf. Int. Anal., (2023), https://doi.org/10.1002/sia.7243.
  • J. Chen, X. Pan, T. Martino, C. Lilja, M. Behazin, W.J. Binns, P.G. Keech, J.J. Noël, and D.W. Shoesmith, “The effects of chloride and sulphate on the growth of sulphide films on copper in anoxic sulphide solutions”, Mater. Corr., (2023) 1-12, https://doi.org/10.1002/maco.202313766.