Interface microstructure engineering by high power impulse magnetron sputtering for the enhancement of adhesion

EHIASARIAN, Arutiun, PETROV, I. and WEN, J. G. (2007). Interface microstructure engineering by high power impulse magnetron sputtering for the enhancement of adhesion. Journal of applied physics, 101 (5), 054301-1.

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Link to published version:: 10.1063/1.2697052

Abstract

An excellent adhesion of hard coatings to steel substrates is paramount in practically all application areas. Conventional methods utilize Ar glow etching or cathodic arc discharge pretreatments that have the disadvantage of producing weak interfaces or adding droplets, respectively. One tool for interface engineering is high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS). HIPIMS is based on conventional sputtering with extremely high peak power densities reaching 3 kW cm−2 at current densities of >2 A cm−2. HIPIMS of Cr and Nb was used to prepare interfaces on 304 stainless steel and M2 high speed steel (HSS). During the pretreatment, the substrates were biased to Ubias=−600 V and Ubias=−1000 V in the environment of a HIPIMS of Cr and Nb plasma. The bombarding flux density reached peak values of 300 mA cm−2 and consisted of highly ionized metal plasma containing a high proportion of Cr1+ and Nb1+. Pretreatments were also carried out with Ar glow discharge and filtered cathodic arc as comparison. The adhesion was evaluated for coatings consisting of a 0.3 µm thick CrN base layer and a 4 µm thick nanolayer stack of CrN/NbN with a period of 3.4 nm, hardness of HK0.025=3100, and residual stress of −1.8 GPa. For HIPIMS of Cr pretreatment, the adhesion values on M2 HSS reached scratch test critical load values of LC=70 N, thus comparing well to LC=51 N for interfaces pretreated by arc discharge plasmas and to LC=25 N for Ar etching. Cross sectional transmission electron microscopy studies revealed a clean interface and large areas of epitaxial growth in the case of HIPIMS pretreatment. The HIPIMS pretreatment promoted strong registry between the orientation of the coating and polycrystalline substrate grains due to the incorporation of metal ions and the preservation of crystallinity of the substrate. Evidence and conditions for the formation of cube-on-cube epitaxy and axiotaxy on steel and -TiAl substrates are presented.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © American Institute of Physics
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Materials and Engineering Research Institute > Thin Films Research Centre > Nanotechnology Centre for PVD Research
Identification Number: 10.1063/1.2697052
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2008
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2010 15:04
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/584

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