Nanostructuring and Age Hardening in TiSiCN, ZrAlN, and TiAlN Thin Films
2010 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
This thesis explores nanostructuring in TiSiCN, ZrAlN, and TiAlN thin films deposited by cathodic arc evaporation onto cemented carbide substrates, with intended applications for cutting tools. The three systems were found to exhibit age hardening upon annealing, by different mechanisms, into the superhard regime (≥30 GPa), as determined by a combination of electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, atom probe tomography, erda, and nanoindentation tech- niques. TiSiCN forms nanocomposite films during growth by virtue of Si segregation to the surface of TiCN nanocrystallites while simultaneously pro- moting renucleation. Thus, the common columnar microstructure of TiCN and low-Si-content (≤5 at. %) TiSiN-films is replaced by a “feather-like” nanos- tructure in high-Si-content (≥10 at. %) TiSiCN films. The presence of C promotes the formation of this structure, and results in an accelerated age hardening beginning at temperatures as low as 700 °C. The thermal stability of the TiSiCN films is, however, decreased compared to the TiSiN system by the loss of Si and interdiffusion of substrate species; C was found to ex- acerbate these processes, which became active at 900 °C. The ZrAlN system forms a two-phase nanostructure during growth consisting of cubic ZrAlN and wurtzite ZrAlN. Upon annealing to 1100 °C, the c-Zr(Al)N portion of the films recovers and semicoherent brick-like w-(Zr)AlN structures are formed. Age hardening by 36 % was obtained before overageing sets in at 1200 °C. As-deposited and annealed solid solution Ti0.33Al0.67N thin films were characterized for the first time by atom probe tomography. The as-deposited film was found to be at the very initial stage of spinodal decomposition, which continued during annealing of the film at 900 °C for 2 h. N preferentially segregates to Al-rich domains in the annealed sample, causing a compositional variation between Ti-rich and Al-rich domains, to maintain the stoichiometry for the developing AlN phase. That effect also compensates for some of the coherency strain formed between cubic domains of TiN and AlN. Finally, a possible Kirkendall effect caused by an imbalance in the metal interdiffusion during the spinodal decomposition was discovered.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2010. , 36 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1442
thin films, age hardening, spinodal decomposition, TiSiCN, ZrAlN, TiAlN, Transmission electron microscopy, Atom probe tomography
National CategoryNatural Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-56221Local ID: LIU-TEK-LIC-2010:13ISBN: 978-91-7393-370-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-56221DiVA: diva2:357194
Flink, Axel, Dr
Hultman, Lars, Prof.
List of papers