Mechanism of improvement of TiN-coated tool life by nitrogen implantation

S. J. Bull, Yu P. Sharkeev, S. V. Fortuna, I. A. Shulepov, A. J. Perry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The life of TiN-coated tools can be improved by a post-coating ion implantation treatment, but the mechanism by which this occurs is still not clear. Nitrogen implantation of both physical-vapor-deposited TiN and CVD TiN leads to surface softening as the dose increases, which has been attributed to amorphization. In this study a combination of transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy was used to characterize the microstructure of implanted TiN coatings on cemented carbide for comparison with mechanical property measurements (nanoindentation, residual stress, etc.), made on the same samples. Ion implantation leads to a slight reduction in the grain size of the TiN in the implanted zone, but there is no evidence for amorphization. Surface softening is observed for physical-vapor-deposited TiN, but this is probably due to a combination of changes in surface composition and the presence of a layer of bubbles generated by the very high implantation doses used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3293-3303
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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