AbstractThe principal possibility to grow layered double hydroxide (LDH) at ambient pressure on plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) treated magnesium alloy AZ91 in the presence of chelating agents is demonstrated for the first time. It avoids hydrothermal autoclave conditions, which strongly limit wide industrial application of such coating systems, and the presence of carbonate ions in the electrolyte, which lead to the formation of “passive” non-functionalizable LDH. A combination of chelating agents (sodium diethylenetriamine-pentaacetate (DTPA) and salicylate) were introduced to the treatment solution. The role of each additive and the influence of treatment bath composition on the LDH formation processes are discussed. A synergistic effect of DTPA and salicylate during LDH formation is discovered and its possible explanation is proposed.