Mechanical and tribological properties of sub- and superstoichiometric Ti-C and Ti-Si-C films deposited by magnetron sputtering-pulsed laser deposition


The magnetron sputtering-pulsed laser deposition (MSPLD) method has been used to deposit Ti-C and Ti-Si-C films with both sub- and superstoichiometric levels of carbon. The structure and composition of the films were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The mechanical properties were determined by nanoindentation and the tribological properties by pin-on-disk testing. Films deposited with sub- and near stoichiometric levels of carbon had good crystallinity and strong (111) texture. However, films deposited under similar conditions but with a substrate bias resulted in superstoichiometric carbon levels and nanocrystalline or near-amorphous structures. The hardness of these superstoichiometric films was generally lower than the substoichiometric films, but they also exhibited significantly better wear life. The laser power used in the MSPLD process was also found to influence hardness, where increased laser power led to higher hardness levels. Using these results, an effort was made to deposit a film with optimal mechanical and tribological properties by depositing a Ti4Si-C film with -150 V bias, maximum laser power (700 mJ/pulse) at a temperature of 400degreesC. This film contained 55% carbon, had a hardness of 28 GPa, and ran for greater than 106 cycles on the pin-on-disk test. (C) 2003 American Vacuum Society.

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Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A



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