Defect growth in multilayer chromium nitride/niobium nitride coatings produced by combined high power impulse magnetron sputtering and unbalance magnetron sputtering technique

BISWAS, Barnali, PURANDARE, Yashodhan, ARUNACHALAMSUGUMARAN, Arunprabhu, LOCH, Daniel, CREASY, Stuart, KHAN, Imran, EHIASARIAN, Arutiun and HOVSEPIAN, Papken (2017). Defect growth in multilayer chromium nitride/niobium nitride coatings produced by combined high power impulse magnetron sputtering and unbalance magnetron sputtering technique. Thin Solid Films, 636, 558-566.

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Link to published version:: 10.1016/j.tsf.2017.06.027

Abstract

In recent years, high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS) has caught the attention of users due to its ability to produce dense coatings. However, microscopic studies have shown that HIPIMS deposited coatings can suffer from some surface imperfections even though the overall number of defects can be significantly lower compared to, for example, arc deposited coatings of similar thicknesses. Defects can degrade the coating performance thus any kind of defect is undesirable. To better understand the nature of these imperfections and the science of their formation, a series of Chromium Nitride/Niobium Nitride (CrN/NbN) coatings were deposited using HIPIMS technique combined with unbalanced magnetron sputtering (UBM) by varying deposition times (t = 15 to 120 minutes). All other deposition parameters were kept constant in order to deposit these coatings with a consistent deposition rate and stoichiometry. In addition, coatings were deposited using pure UBM technique to compare the defects generated by these two different physical vapour deposition approaches. High-resolution scanning electron microscopy images revealed that HIPIMS/UBM and pure UBM CrN/NbN coatings have similar types of defects which could be categorised as: nodular, open void, cone-like and pinhole. Interestingly, there was no evidence of droplet formation in HIPIMS/UBM deposited coatings. The defect density calculation indicated that the defect density of HIPIMS/UBM coatings increased (from 0.48 to 3.18%) with the coating thickness. A coating produced in a relatively clean chamber had a lower defect density. Potentiodynamic polarisation experiments showed that the fluctuation in corrosion currents in HIPIMS/UBM coatings reduced with the coating thickness. This indicated that though visible on the surface, most of these defects did not penetrate thorough the whole thickness of the coating.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: HIPIMS, CrN/NbN, Microstructure, Growth defects, Defect density, Corrosion.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Materials and Engineering Research Institute > Thin Films Research Centre > Nanotechnology Centre for PVD Research
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.tsf.2017.06.027
Depositing User: Yashodhan Purandare
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2017 09:23
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2017 22:07
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15905

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