The effects of phase transformation on the structure and mechanical properties of TiSiCN nanocomposite coatings deposited by PECVD method

Mohammad Abedi, Amir Abdollah-zadeh, Massimiliano Bestetti, Antonello Vicenzo, Andrea Serafini, Farid Movassagh-Alanagh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the present study, the effects of phase transformations on the structure and mechanical properties of TiSiCN coatings were investigated. TiSiCN nanocomposite coatings were deposited on AISI H13 hot-work tool steel by a pulsed direct current plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition process at 350 or 500 °C, using TiCl 4 and SiCl 4 as the precursors of Ti and Si, respectively, in a CH 4 /N 2 /H 2 /Ar plasma as the source of carbon and nitrogen and reducing environment. Some samples deposited at 350 °C were subsequently annealed at 500 °C under Ar atmosphere. Super hard self-lubricant TiSiCN coatings, having nanocomposite structure consisting of TiCN nanocrystals and amorphous carbon particles embedded in an amorphous SiCN x matrix, formed through spinodal decomposition in the specimens deposited or annealed at 500 °C. In addition, it was revealed that either uncomplete or relatively coarse phase segregation of titanium compounds was achieved during deposition at 350 °C and 500 °C, respectively. On the contrary, by deposition at 350 °C followed by annealing at 500 °C, a finer structure was obtained with a sensible improvement of the mechanical properties of coatings. Accordingly, the main finding of this work is that significant enhancement in key properties of TiSiCN coatings, such as hardness, adhesion and friction coefficient, can be obtained by deposition at low temperature and subsequent annealing at higher temperature, thanks to the formation of a fine grained nanocomposite structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-386
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Surface Science
Volume444
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Nanocomposite microstructure
  • PECVD
  • Spinodal hardening
  • TiSiCN
  • Tribological coatings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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