The wetting characteristics of copper surfaces, with and without an exposure to benzotriazole and benzotriazole derivatives, have been investigated by dynamic contact angle measurements. The results were compared to corrosion rates measured on the same samples by electrochemical techniques. The experiments show that the inhibitor's effectiveness for corrosion reduction is not reflected well by the advancing contact angles of water. However, a good correlation is observed with the parameters obtained on a previously wetted surface, such as receding contact angles and the work of surface rewetting. These parameters were obtained through repeated dipping experiments. The details of the wetting process are evaluated quantitatively as an excess work of adhesion and can be used as an alternate measure of the expected corrosion resistance for differently treated surfaces. © 1991, The Electrochemical Society, Inc. All rights reserved.