High power pulsed magnetron sputtered CrNx films

EHIASARIAN, Arutiun, MUNZ, W. D., HULTMAN, L., HELMERSSON, U. and PETROV, I. (2003). High power pulsed magnetron sputtered CrNx films. Surface and coatings technology, 163-164, 267-272.

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Link to published version:: 10.1016/S0257-8972(02)00479-6

Abstract

Microstructure and macroscopic properties of droplet free CrN films deposited by the recently developed high power pulsed magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS) technique are presented. Magnetron glow discharges with peak power densities reaching 3000 W cm−2 were used to sputter Cr targets in both inert and reactive gas atmospheres. The flux arriving at the substrates consisted of neutrals and ions (approx. 70/30) of the sputtered metal and working gas atoms (Ar) with significantly elevated degree of ionization compared to conventional magnetron sputtering. The high-speed steel and stainless steel substrates were metal ion etched using a bias voltage of −1200 V prior to the deposition of CrN films. The film-to-substrate interfaces, observed by scanning transmission electron microscope cross-sections, were clean and contained no phases besides the film and substrate ones or recrystallized regions. CrN films were grown by reactive HIPIMS at floating potential reaching −160 V. Initial nucleation grains were large compared to conventional magnetron sputtered films, indicating a high adatom mobility in the present case. The films exhibited polycrystalline columnar growth morphology with evidence of renucleation. No intercolumnar voids were observed and the corrosion behavior of the film was superior to arc deposited CrNx. A high density of lattice defects was observed throughout the films due to the high floating potential. A residual compressive stress of 3 GPa and a hardness value of HK0.025=2600 were measured. A low friction coefficient of 0.4 and low wear rates against Al2O3 in these films are explained by the absence of droplets and voids known to contribute to extensive debris generation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © Elsevier Science B.V.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Materials and Engineering Research Institute > Thin Films Research Centre > Nanotechnology Centre for PVD Research
Identification Number: 10.1016/S0257-8972(02)00479-6
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2008
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2010 15:03
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/580

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