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The Ti-B-N System: Nanocomposite nc-TiN/a-(TiB2, BN) and Nano-Multilayer nc-TiN/a-TiBN Thin Films

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The nanostructures and mechanical properties of nanocomposite nc-TiN/a-(TiB2, BN) and nanostructured multilayers nc-TiN/a-TiBN were investigated using X-ray diffraction (XRD), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), microindentation, and stress measurements. It was found that the monolayer Ti-B-N thin films consisted of nanometer-sized crystalline (nc-) Ti(N, B) embedded into amorphous (a-) (TiB2, BN) matrix. When B content was below ∼16 at.%, two different-sized nanocrystallites with mean grain sizes of ∼3 and 9 nm respectively were embedded in a-TiB2. With increasing B incorporation (>∼27 at.%), more uniform nanograins was embedded a-(TiB2, BN). Incorporation of B not only decreased the size of nanocrystallites, but also gave rise to twinning deformation in nanocrystallites. A maximum hardness of ∼44 GPa was achieved at B content of 19 at.%. It was also found that the nanostructure and mechanical behaviors of nc-TiN/a-TiBN multilayers was dependent on the modulation length (bilayer thickness Λ). Decrease of Λ made the preferred orientation of nc-TiN gradually transform from (200) to (111). A maximum hardness of ∼30 GPa was achieved at Λ = 1.8 nm. Deflection from this Λ value decreased hardness. By contrast, the residual compressive stress value monotonically increased with decrease of Λ. The enhancement of the hardness was due to the coherent stresses and the structural barriers to dislocation motion in the interface.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-05-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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