Implantation Induced Hardening of Nanocrystalline Titanium Thin Films
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.
Keywords: ION IMPLANTATION; MICRO-HARDNESS; PLD; TITANIUM THIN FILMS
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 2009
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