Tolerance of MeN/Si3N4 (Me = Zr, Al, Cr) multilayered systems to radiation erosion

V. V. Uglov, G. Abadias, S. V. Zlotski, I. A. Saladukhin, A. L. Kozlovskiy, M. V. Zdorovets, V. A. Skuratov, A. Janse van Vuuren, J. O'Connell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We report on the radiation tolerance of nanoscaled MeN/Si3N4 (Me = Zr, Al, Cr) multilayered coatings comprising crystalline MeN and amorphous Si3N4 elementary layers comparatively to monolithic (ZrN, AlN, CrN) films. MeN/Si3N4 multilayers with different bilayer periods (from 7 to 15 nm) and relative MeN layer thickness ratios, fMeN, (from 0.29 to 0.71) were grown by reactive magnetron sputter-deposition from Me and Si3N4 targets at room temperature and were subsequently irradiated by 40 keV He ions up to a fluence of 1.1 × 1018 cm−2. Observations by scanning electron and atomic force microscopy of the multilayered films irradiated with He ions show that the formation of the multilayered structure leads to an increase in the critical fluence (up to 1.1 × 1018 cm−2) of surface blistering and exfoliation compared to mononitride (about 6 × 1017 cm−2) crystalline films. It is found that decreasing fMeN leads to an improvement of the resistance to radiation erosion of ZrN/Si3N4, AlN/Si3N4 and CrN/Si3N4 multilayer films. The present findings point towards the promising use of crystalline/amorphous multilayers to increase the resistance of nanoscale materials to radiation-induced surface erosion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126146
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2020


  • Blisters
  • Erosion
  • He ion irradiation
  • Multilayer films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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