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Closed Field Unbalanced Magnetron Sputtering Ion Plating of Ni/Al Thin Films: Influence of the Magnetron Power

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In this study NiAl thin films have been deposited using closed field unbalanced magnetron sputtering Ion plating (CFUBMSIP). The influence of magnetron power has been investigated using dense and humongous NiAl compound targets onto stainless steel and glass substrates. Potential applications include tribological, electronic media and bond coatings in thermal barrier coatings system. Several techniques has been used to characterise the films including surface stylus profilometry, energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDAX), X-Ray diffraction (XRD) Composition analysis of the samples was carried out using VGTOF SIMS (IX23LS) and Atomic force microscopy (AFM). Scratch tester (CSM) combined with acoustic emission singles during loading in order to compare the coating adhesion. The acoustic emission signals emitted during the indentation process were used to determine the critical load, under which the film begins to crack and/or break off the substrate. The average thickness of the films was approximately 1 um. EDAX results of NiAl thin films coating with various magnetron power exhibited the near equal atomic% Ni:Al. The best result being obtained using 300 W and 400 W DC power for Ni and Al targets respectively. XRD revealed the presence of NiAl phase for all the films coatings. AFM analysis of the films deposited on glass substrates exhibited quite a smooth surface with surface roughness values in the nanometre range. CSM results indicate that best adhesion was achieved at 300 W for Ni, and 400 W for Al targets compared to sample other power values. SIMS depth profile showed a uniform distribution of the Ni and Al component from the surface of the film to the interface.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-04-01

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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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