Deposition of nanoscale multilayer CrN/NbN physical vapor deposition coatings by high power impulse magnetron sputtering

PURANDARE, Y. P., EHIASARIAN, A. P. and HOVSEPIAN, P. E. (2008). Deposition of nanoscale multilayer CrN/NbN physical vapor deposition coatings by high power impulse magnetron sputtering. Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films, 26 (2), 288-296.


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Nanoscale multilayer CrN/NbN physical vapor deposition (PVD) coatings are gaining reputation for their high corrosion and wear resistance. However, the CrN/NbN films deposited by ABS(TM) (are bond sputtering) technology have some limitations such as macrodroplets, porosity, and less dense structures. The novel HIPIMS (high power impulse magnetron sputtering) technique produces macroparticle-free, highly ionized metal plasma, which brings advantages in both surface pretreatment and coating deposition stages of the PVD process. In this study, nanoscale multilayer CrN/NbN PVD coatings were pretreated and deposited with HIPIMS technology and compared with those deposited by HIPIMS-UBM (unbalanced magnetron) and by the ABSTM technique. In all cases Cr+ etching was utilized to enhance adhesion by low energy ion implantation. The coatings were deposited at 400 degrees C with substrate biased (Ub) at -75 V. During coating deposition, HIPIMS produced significantly high activation of nitrogen compared to the UBM as observed with mass spectroscopy. HIPIMS-deposited coatings revealed a bilayer period of 4.1 nm (total thickness: 2.9 mu m) and hardness of 3025 HK0.025. TEM results revealed droplet free, denser microstructure with (200) preferred orientation for the HIPIMS coating owing to the increased ionization as compared to the more porous structure with random orientation observed in UBM coating. The dry sliding wear coefficient (K-c) of the coating was 1.8 X 10(-15) m(3) N-1 m(-1), whereas the steady state coefficient of friction was 0.32. Potentiodynamic polarization tests revealed higher E-corr values, higher pitting resistance (around potentials +400 to +600 mV), and lower. corrosion current densities for HIPIMS deposited coatings as compared to the coatings deposited by ABS or HIPIMS-UBM. The corrosion behavior of the coatings qualitatively improved with the progressive use of HIPIMS from pretreatment stage to the coating deposition step. (C) 2008 American Vacuum Society.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Materials and Engineering Research Institute > Advanced Coatings and Composites Research Centre > Nanotechnology Centre for PVD Research
Identification Number:
Page Range: 288-296
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2010 14:20
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 06:09

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