James Noël

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


  • Lash Miller Award (ECS)


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
  • 3372 - Instrumental Analytical Chemistry
  • 9524 - Electrochemistry


  • N. Liu, H.He, J.J. Noël, and D.W. Shoesmith, "The electrochemical study of Dy 2O 3 doped UO 2 in slightly alkaline sodium carbonate/bicarbonate and phosphate solutions." Electrochim. Acta, 235(2017) 654-663.
  • T.E. Standish, D. Zagidulin, S. Ramamurthy, P.G. Keech, J.J. Noël, and D.W. Shoesmith. "Galvanic corrosion of copper-coated carbon steel for used nuclear fuel containers." Corr. Eng. Sci. Tech. (2017): 1-5, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1478422X.2017.1306972.
  • J.J. Noël and G.K. Ahluwalia, “Chapter 6: Electrochemical Sensors”, (27 pp.) in “Applications of Chalcogenides: S, Se, and Te”, G.K. Ahluwalia, ed., Springer, Switzerland, 2016, pp 235-261.
  • N. Ebrahimi, P. Jakupi, J.J. Noël, and D.W. Shoesmith, “The influence of composition on the crevice corrosion of Ni-Cr-Mo alloys”, in Proc. Corrosion/2016, Vancouver, BC, March 6-10, 2016, NACE International, Houston, TX, (2016).
  • S. Hariharan, V. Subramanian, M. Momeni, J.J. Noël, J. Joseph, D.A. Guzonas, and J.C Wren, “The influence of water radiolysis on corrosion in high temperature steam”, Proc. 17 th Int. Conf. on Environmental Degradation of Materials in Nuclear Power Systems-Water Reactors, Ottawa, ON, August 9-13, 2015, paper #197.