Au–WS2 nanocomposite coatings with approximately 60 at.% Au were prepared using magnetron sputtering from high purity Au and WS2 targets. Structural characterization of the coatings using X-ray diffraction indicated the presence of (111), (200) and (220)
peaks of cubic Au and broad bands corresponding to (002) and (004) planes of hexagonal WS2. Surface morphology of Au–WS2 coatings was studied using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and atomic force microscopy which showed formation of uniformly
distributed interconnected ligament-like features. High resolution transmission electron microscopy studies showed the presence of a two phase nanocomposite structure wherein nanocrystalline Au was dispersed in a matrix of nanocrystalline and amorphous WS2. The electrical resistivity
of Au–WS2 coating measured using four-point-probe method was approximately 0.2 μΩm compared to Au and WS2 coatings which exhibited electrical resistivity values of approximately 0.04 μΩm and 0.057 Ωm, respectively. Ball-on-disc
reciprocating tests at a load of 7 N showed that Au–WS2 nanocomposite coating exhibited a friction coefficient of 0.22 after 57,600 cycles and outperformed Au and WS2 coatings. Analyses of the ball and wear track of Au–WS2 coating using FESEM at
the end of the wear test indicated formation of smooth transfer films, less accumulation of wear debris and reduced oxidation.
Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Letters (NNL) is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating nanoscale research activities in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine into a single and unique reference source. NNL provides the means for scientists, engineers, medical experts and technocrats to publish original short research articles as communications/letters of important new scientific and technological findings, encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of the physical sciences, engineering and medicine.