Nano fabrication technology of superhard TiN films with sub-nanometered crystallites was developed using an Inductively coupled plasma (ICP) during deposition. Nanocrystalline TiN coatings were fabricated by ICP assisted sputtering and the properies of the coatings were investigated.
The ICP assisted TiN coatings showed a much higher nano-hardness (>43 GPa) compared to coatings produced by the conventional DC sputtering process. The ICP assisited TiN coatings also showed superior properties in dense microstructure and surface roughness compared to the DC sputtered TiN
coatings. The superior mechanical properties of ICP assistted TiN coatings were attributed to the fine and dense microstructure and high compressive residual stress.
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