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Thermal Stability of Zr-Si-N Nanocomposite Hard Thin Films
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Nanostructured Materials .
2010 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Mechanical property and thermal stability of Zr-Si-N films of varying silicon contents deposited on Al2O3 (0001) substrates are characterized. All films provided for characterization were deposited by reactive DC magnetron sputter deposition technique from elemental Zr and Si targets in a N2/Ar plasma at 800 oC. The hardness and microstructures of the as deposited films and post-annealed films up to 1100 oC are evaluated by means of nanoindentation, X-ray diffractometry and transmission electron microscopy. The Zr-Si-N films with 9.4 at.% Si exhibit hardness as high as 34 GPa and a strong (002) texture within which vertically elongated ZrN crystallites are embedded in a Si3N4 matrix. The hardness of these two dimensional nanocomposite films remains stable up to 1000 oC annealing temperatures which is in contrast to ZrN films where hardness degradation occurs already above 800 oC. The enhanced thermal stability is attributed to the presence of Si3N4 grain boundaries which act as efficient barriers to hinder the oxygen diffusion. X-ray amorphous or nanocrystalline structures are observed in Zr-Si-N films with silicon contents > 13.4 at.%. After the annealing treatments, crystalline phases such as ZrSi2, ZrO2 and Zr2O are formed above 1000 oC in the Si-containing films while only zirconia crystallites are observed at 800 oC in pure ZrN films because oxygen acts as artifacts in the vacuum furnace. The structural, compositional and hardness comparison of as-deposited and annealed films reveal that the addition of silicon enhances the thermal stability compared to pure ZrN films and the hardness degradation stems from the formation of oxides at elevated temperatures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , 60 p.
Keyword [en]
Zr-Si-N films, Nanocomposite hard coatings, Nanostructure, Magnetron sputtering, Hardness, Mechanical property, Thermal stability, Annealing, Transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Nanoindentation, Elastic recoil detection analysis
National Category
Materials Engineering Condensed Matter Physics
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-58622ISRN: LITH-IFM-A-EX--10/2299--SEOAI: diva2:351191
2010-06-09, Jordan Fermi, Linköping University, SE-581 83 LINKÖPING, Fysik huset, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2010-09-13 Created: 2010-08-19 Last updated: 2011-03-18Bibliographically approved

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