Flexible hard Al-Si-N films for high temperature operation

J. Musil, G. Remnev, V. Legostaev, V. Uglov, A. Lebedynskiy, A. Lauk, J. Procházka, S. Haviar, E. Smolyanskiy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports on flexible hard Al-Si-N films prepared by reactive magnetron sputtering. The structure and mechanical properties of Al-Si-N films were controlled by the content of Si in the film, partial pressure of nitrogen pN2 used in sputtering and the power delivered to the magnetron. The Al-Si-N films with a low (≤ 10 at.%) Si content and with a high (≥ 20 at.%) Si content were prepared. Correlations between the structure, microstructure, mechanical properties and their thermal stability of the Al-Si-N films are analyzed in detail. Thermal stability of Al-Si-N films was assessed by thermal annealing in air and water vapor up to annealing temperature Ta = 1200 °C. It is shown that (1) the increase of Si content in the Al-Si-N film leads to the change of its crystalline structure from polycrystalline to X-ray amorphous and (2) the flexible hard Al-Si-N films with high (i) hardness H ≈ 20 GPa, (ii) ratio H/E ≥ 0.1, and (iii) elastic recovery We ≥ 60% exhibit enhanced resistance to cracking and (3) the thermal stability of Al-Si-N films with a high (≥ 20 at.%) Si content achieves up to Ta ≈ 1200 °C in air and up to Ta ≈ 800 °C in water vapor; here the effective Young's modulus E = E / (1 − ν2), E is the Young's modulus and ν is the Poisson's ratio. Conditions under which the flexible hard Al-Si-N films with enhanced resistance to cracking and high thermal stability can be prepared are described in detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1112-1118
Number of pages7
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2016


  • Al-Si-N film
  • High-temperature operation
  • Magnetron sputtering
  • Mechanical properties
  • Structure
  • Thermal stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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