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Implantation Induced Hardening of Nanocrystalline Titanium Thin Films

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Formation of nanocrystalline TiN at low temperatures was demonstrated by combining Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) and ion implantation techniques. The Ti films of nominal thickness ∼250 nm were deposited at a substrate temperature of 200 °C by ablating a high pure titanium target in UHV conditions using a nanosecond pulsed Nd:YAG laser operating at 1064 nm. These films were implanted with 100 keV N+ ions with fluence ranging from 1.0 × 1016 ions/cm2 to 1.0 × 1017 ions/cm2. The structural, compositional and morphological evolutions were tracked using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), respectively. TEM analysis revealed that the as-deposited titanium film is an fcc phase. With increasing ion fluence, its structure becomes amorphous phase before precipitation of nanocrystalline fcc TiN phase. Compositional depth profiles obtained from SIMS have shown the extent of nitrogen concentration gradient in the implantation zone. Both as-deposited and ion implanted films showed much higher hardness as compared to the bulk titanium. AFM studies revealed a gradual increase in surface roughness leading to surface patterning with increase in ion fluence.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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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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