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Nanotribological properties of wear resistant a-CNx thin films deposited by mid-frequency magnetron sputtering
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4898-5115
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The nanotribological properties of amorphous carbon nitride (a-CNx) thin films deposited with mid-frequency magnetron sputtering (MFMS) were investigated at the nanoscale using an in-situ technique in a Hysitron Triboindenter TI 950. The friction coefficient, wear rate, track roughness, and the track profiles were recorded as a function of the number of linear reciprocal cycles, revealing the manner that the nanotribological and surface properties change during the wear test. The surface composition of  the films was evaluated by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The friction coefficient ranges between 0.05 – 0.07, while the wear coefficient ranges from 9.4 x 10-8 up to 1.5 x 10-4 mm3/Nm. Debris particles and surface modifications characterize the friction and lubrication behavior in the track. The friction and main lubrication mechanism on the modified surface changes after the removal of debris particles, while this change appears at different cycle for each CNx film depending on the substrate bias voltage. Films grown at higher bias are modified earlier than films grown at lower bias. The wear behavior can be divided into two, track roughnessdependent, regimes; (1) films with track roughness > 1 nm showed wear with obvious tracks and (2) the films with roughness < 1 nm showed negative wear at the nanometer scale with a volume of material projected in the area of the wear track. This material volume is believed to be result of a surface modification, where the molar volume of the modified surface is larger than the molar volume of the surface before the wear test.

National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-118347OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-118347DiVA: diva2:814506
Available from: 2015-05-27 Created: 2015-05-27 Last updated: 2016-08-31Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Low Friction and Wear Resistant Carbon Nitride Thin Films for Rolling Components Grown by Magnetron Sputtering
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Low Friction and Wear Resistant Carbon Nitride Thin Films for Rolling Components Grown by Magnetron Sputtering
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The scope of this licentiate thesis is the investigation of carbon based thin films suitable for rolling components, especially roller bearings. Carbon and carbon nitride are materials with advantageous tribological properties and high resiliency. Such materials are required in order to withstand the demanding conditions of bearing operation, such as high loads and corrosive environments. A fundamental condition for coated bearings is that the deposition temperature must be striktly limited. Thus, carbon nitride (CNx) thin films were synthesized here at low temperature of 150 oC by different reactive magnetron sputtering techniques, which are mid-frequency magnetron sputtering (MFMS), direct current magnetron sputtering (DCMS), and high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS). While DCMS is a very well studied technique for carbon based films, MFMS and HiPIMS are relatively new sputtering techniques for carbon, and especially CNx depositions. Using different magnetron sputtering techniques, different ionization conditions prevail in the chamber during each process and influence the obtained film properties at a great extent. It was found that bias duty cycles and the amount of working gas ions are key parameters and affect the morphology and microstructure as well as the mechanical response of the films. Moreover, different bias voltages, from 20 V up to 120 V were applied during the processes in order to investigate the changes that the different ion energies induce in the film structure.

The structural, mechanical and tribological properties of CNx films are also presented in this licentiate thesis. The morphology of CNx films strongly depends on both the deposition technique and ion energy. The special configuration of MFMS mode produces highly homogeneous and dense films even from low applied bias voltages, while in HiPIMS mode high bias voltages above 100 V must be applied in order to produce films with similar structural characteristics. DCMS is also proven as a good technique for homogeneous and dense films. Low bias voltages do not favor  homogeneous structures, thus at 20 V all techniques produced films with columnar structures with intercolumnar voids. High bias voltages influence the N incorporation in the films, with the appearance of re-sputtering of N-containing species and a promotion of sp2 bonding configurations with increasing ion energy. Nevertheless, the different deposition mode influences the sp2 content in different ways, with only MFMS showing a clear increase of sp2 content with increasing bias voltage and HiPIMS showing relatively constant sp2 content. The morphology and microstructure of the CNx films affects their mechanical response, with higher ion energies producing harder films. A dependency of hardness and elastic modulus with increasing ion energy was obtained, where for all deposition modes, hardness and elastic modulus increase linearly with increasing bias voltage. Films with hardness as high as 25 GPa were synthesized by MFMS at 120 V , while the softer film yielded a hardness of 7 GPa and was deposited by HiPIMS at 20 V . The elastic recovery of the films differs with increasing ion energies, presenting a correlation with the C sp2 bond content. The highest elastic recovery of 90% was extracted for the film deposited by MFMS at 120 V and is a value similar to the elastic recovery obtained for FL-CNx films. All films developed compressive residual stresses, depending also on the ion energies and the deposition mode used. It is demonstrated that the induced stresses in the films increase when denser and more homogeneous film morphologies are obtained and with higher Ar intercalcation. Low friction coefficients were obtained for all films between 0.05 and 0.07, although the deposition conditions are not detrimental for the development of friction coefficient. The wear resistance of the films was found to be dependent on the morphology and to some extent on the microstructure of the films. Harder, denser, and more homogeneous films have higher wear resistance. Especially, CNx films deposited by MFMS at 120 V present no wear.

The tribological characteristics of the surface of the films were also investigated at nanoscale by a new reciprocal wear test. In this wear test, the recording of the track profile is performed in between consecutive test cycles, eliminating also thermal drift. The very low wear of the films deposited by MFMS at 100 V and 120 V revealed that during the wear test a phase transformation on the surface may take place, possibly graphitization. It is also demonstrated the way that the surface characteristics, such as asperities and roughness affects the tribological measurements. Attention is also turned to the presence of large asperities on the film surface and the way they affect the obtained average friction coefficient and tribological measured data.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. 71 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1714
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-118349 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-118349 (DOI)978-91-7519-051-8 (print) (ISBN)
Presentation
2015-06-12, Schrödinger, E324 - Fysikhuset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universite, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
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Supervisors
Note

The series name Linköping Studies in Science and Technology Licentiate Thesis is incorrect. Correct series name is Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis.

Available from: 2015-05-27 Created: 2015-05-27 Last updated: 2016-08-31Bibliographically approved

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Bakoglidis, Konstantinos D.Broitman, EstebanSchmidt, SusannGreczynski, GrzegorzHultman, Lars
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