Evolution of microstructure and macrostress in sputtered hard Ti(Al,V)N films with increasing energy delivered during their growth by bombarding ions

Jindřich Musil, Martin Jaroš, Radomír Čerstvý, Stanislav Haviar

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

14 Citations (Scopus)


This letter reports on the effect of the energy Ebi, delivered to the sputtered Ti(Al,V)N film by bombarding ions, on its microstructure, macrostress σ, mechanical properties, and resistance to cracking. The films were deposited by reactive magnetron sputtering. Interrelationships between these parameters were investigated in detail. It was shown that (1) the increase of the energy Ebi makes it possible to convert (1) the film microstructure from columnar to dense, noncolumnar, (2) the macrostress σ from tensile (σ > 0) to compressive (σ < 0), (3) the brittle hard film with low ratio H/E*< 0.1 and low elastic recovery We < 60% to the flexible hard film with high ratio H/E*≥ 0.1 and high elastic recovery We ≥ 60%, (2) the flexible hard Ti(Al,V)N films with high ratio H/E*≥ 0.1, high elastic recovery We ≥ 60%, and compressive macrostress can be formed not only in the transition zone (zone T in which the films exhibit a dense, voids-free microstructure) of the Thornton's structural zone model (SZM) but also in zone 1 in which the films exhibit a columnar microstructure and (3) the line corresponding to the films with zero macrostress (σ = 0) in the SZM lies in zone 1 corresponding to the columnar microstructure; here, H is the film hardness and E*= E(1 − ν2) is the effective Young's modulus, E is the Young's modulus, and ν is the Poisson's ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Article number020601
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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