Structural and mechanical properties of TiC/Ti and TiC/B4C multilayers deposited by pulsed laser deposition


Multilayers of TiC/Ti and TiC/B4C have been deposited by pulsed laser deposition. Ti, B4C, and TiC targets were used to deposit multilayer films onto 440C steel and silicon substrates at 40 degreesC. The structural, compositional, and mechanical properties of the multilayers were examined by x-ray diffraction, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and nanoindentation techniques. Tribological properties were also evaluated using a pin-on-disc friction and wear test. The TiC/Ti films were found to have a crystalline structure, and both (200)TiC/(100)Ti and (111)TiC/(101)Ti orientation relationships were found in these films. In the TiC/B4C films, only the sample with the largest bilayer thickness (25 nm) had significant crystallinity and only the TiC layer was crystalline. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy depth profiles confirmed the presence of composition modulations in these films. Nanoindentation tests of the TiC/Ti multilayers showed hardness levels exceeding that predicted by the rule-of-mixtures. The TiC/B4C multilayers showed increasing hardness with decreasing bilayer thickness but reached only 221 GPa. The pin-on-disc tests gave friction values ranging from 0.3 to 0.9 for both sets of films. These results were correlated with the degree of crystallinity and grain structure of the films.

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Journal of Materials Research



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