Nanocomposite coatings with enhanced hardness

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13 Citations (Scopus)


The article reviews the present state of the art in the magnetron sputtering of hart and superhard nanocomposite coatings. It is shown that there are (1) two groups of hard and superhard nanocomposites: (i) nc-MN/hard phase and (ii) nc-MN/soft phase, (2) three possible origins of the enhanced hardness: (i) dislocation-dominated plastic deformation, (ii) cohesive forces between atoms arid (iii) nanostructure of materials, and (3) huge differences in the microstructure of single- and two-phase films. A main attention is devoted to the formation of nanocrystalline and/or X-ray amorphous films. Such films are created in a vicinity of transitions between (i) crystalline and amorphous phases, (ii) two crystalline phases of different chemical composition or (iii) two different preferred orientations of grains of the same material from which the coating is composed. The existence of the last transition makes it possible to explain the enhanced hardness in single-phase films. The thermal stability and oxidation resistance of hard nanocomposite films is also shortly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-442
Number of pages10
JournalActa Metallurgica Sinica (English Letters)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2005


  • Enhanced hardness
  • Nanocomposites
  • Reactive magnetron sputtering
  • Single- and two-phase films
  • Thermal stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Metals and Alloys
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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