Composition, structure, microhardness and residual stress of W-Ti-N films deposited by reactive magnetron sputtering

L. R. Shaginyan, M. Mišina, J. Zemek, J. Musil, F. Regent, V. F. Britun

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51 Citations (Scopus)


W-Ti-N films were deposited by reactive DC magnetron sputtering from a W-Ti (30 at.%) target, in a mixture of argon and nitrogen at a total pressure of 0.5 Pa, onto steel and silicon substrates. The crystal structure, microstructure, composition, microhardness and residual stress were studied as a function of the partial pressure of nitrogen. Films containing less than 30 at.% nitrogen were composed of a mixture of b.c.c. W and f.c.c. W2N phases, while only the f.c.c. phase, probably WxTi1-xNy, was present in the films with a nitrogen concentration of [N] ≥ 36 at.%. The microhardness of the W-Ti-N films increased with increasing nitrogen concentration from 25 GPa for [N] = 0 up to a maximum of approximately 65 GPa at [N] = 25 at.%. This was accompanied by increasing microstrain, while the compressive residual stress remained in the range of 1.3-2.3 GPa. The single-phase W-Ti-N films, with [N] ≥ 36 at.%, exhibited a micro-hardness of approximately 40 GPa and a large compressive stress of, at most, approximately 5.7 GPa at [N] = 40 at.%. The maximum microhardness was found in films that simultaneously possessed: (i) the presence of two crystalline phases; (ii) large microstrain; and (iii) relatively low compressive residual stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-147
Number of pages12
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2002


  • Alloys
  • Hardness
  • Nitrides
  • Sputtering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

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