Effect of ion bombardment on properties of hard reactively sputtered Ti(Fe)Nx films

J. Musil, H. Poláková, J. Šuna, J. Vlček

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article reports on results of a systematic investigation of properties of hard Ti(Fe)Nx films reactively sputtered using a d.c. unbalanced magnetron. The Ti(Fe)Nx films with a low (≤15 at.%) Fe content were selected as a typical single-phase material to investigate an effect of the energy Epi, delivered to them during their growth by bombarding ions, on their physical and mechanical properties. In this investigation, the energy Epi per deposited volume was varied by the magnitude of a deposition rate aD because Epi[J/cm3]= Usis/ aD, where Us is the substrate bias, is is the substrate ion current density and aD is the film deposition rate. It was found that: (i) properties of sputtered films are a result of a combined action of physical and chemical processes controlled by the energy Epi and the film stoichiometry x =N/(Ti+Fe), respectively; (ii) Ti(Fe)Nx films can form a superhard material with hardness H ≥40 GPa; and (iii) superhard films with the highest hardness are: (a) formed in a transition region; (b) nearly stoichiometric with x ≈1; and (c) composed of a mixture of grains of different crystallographic orientations. The last finding makes it possible to explain the origin of the superhardness of single-phase materials. A special attention is devoted to mechanical properties of Ti(Fe)Nx films, particularly to relationships between hardness H , Young's modulus E , elastic recovery We and the ratio H3/E*2, which is proportional to a resistance of the material to plastic deformation, but also to dependences of these mechanical properties on energy Epi, deposition rate aD, average size Lc of grains and microstrain Eg generated in the film during its growth; here E*= E /(1- ν 2) is the effective Young's modulus and ν is the Poisson's ratio. Correlations between mechanical properties and modes of their sputtering are discussed in detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-298
Number of pages10
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Volume177-178
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2004

Fingerprint

Ion bombardment
bombardment
ions
Deposition rates
mechanical properties
Mechanical properties
hardness
Hardness
modulus of elasticity
Elastic moduli
Ions
energy
Poisson ratio
Substrates
Stoichiometry
ion currents
plastic deformation
Sputtering
stoichiometry
Plastic deformation

Keywords

  • Enhanced hardness
  • Ion bombardment
  • Physical and mechanical properties
  • Reactive magnetron sputtering
  • Single-phase films
  • Ti(Fe)N

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

Cite this

Effect of ion bombardment on properties of hard reactively sputtered Ti(Fe)Nx films. / Musil, J.; Poláková, H.; Šuna, J.; Vlček, J.

In: Surface and Coatings Technology, Vol. 177-178, 30.01.2004, p. 289-298.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Musil, J. ; Poláková, H. ; Šuna, J. ; Vlček, J. / Effect of ion bombardment on properties of hard reactively sputtered Ti(Fe)Nx films. In: Surface and Coatings Technology. 2004 ; Vol. 177-178. pp. 289-298.
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AB - This article reports on results of a systematic investigation of properties of hard Ti(Fe)Nx films reactively sputtered using a d.c. unbalanced magnetron. The Ti(Fe)Nx films with a low (≤15 at.%) Fe content were selected as a typical single-phase material to investigate an effect of the energy Epi, delivered to them during their growth by bombarding ions, on their physical and mechanical properties. In this investigation, the energy Epi per deposited volume was varied by the magnitude of a deposition rate aD because Epi[J/cm3]= Usis/ aD, where Us is the substrate bias, is is the substrate ion current density and aD is the film deposition rate. It was found that: (i) properties of sputtered films are a result of a combined action of physical and chemical processes controlled by the energy Epi and the film stoichiometry x =N/(Ti+Fe), respectively; (ii) Ti(Fe)Nx films can form a superhard material with hardness H ≥40 GPa; and (iii) superhard films with the highest hardness are: (a) formed in a transition region; (b) nearly stoichiometric with x ≈1; and (c) composed of a mixture of grains of different crystallographic orientations. The last finding makes it possible to explain the origin of the superhardness of single-phase materials. A special attention is devoted to mechanical properties of Ti(Fe)Nx films, particularly to relationships between hardness H , Young's modulus E , elastic recovery We and the ratio H3/E*2, which is proportional to a resistance of the material to plastic deformation, but also to dependences of these mechanical properties on energy Epi, deposition rate aD, average size Lc of grains and microstrain Eg generated in the film during its growth; here E*= E /(1- ν 2) is the effective Young's modulus and ν is the Poisson's ratio. Correlations between mechanical properties and modes of their sputtering are discussed in detail.

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