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Effect of Al Content on Microstructure and Mechanical Property of Nanocomposite TiAlSiN Thin Films

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TiAlSiN thin films exhibit high hardness due to the multicomponent and multiphase structures. Effects of Si on TiAlSiN microstructure and mechanical properties have been well studied. However, there is insufficient information on the effects of Al. Thus, in this work, Al-contained nanocomposite nc-TiN/a-SiNx thin films with Al up to 10 at.% were prepared by magnetron co-sputtering Ti, Al and Si3N4 targets in Ar/N2 gas atmosphere. The effects of Al on TiAlSiN microstructure and mechanical property were well studied. Adjusting Al/(Ti+Al) target power ratio tuned chemical composition, microstructure and consequently mechanical properties. With increase of Al/(Ti+Al) target power ratio from 0 to 0.2, Al content increased from 0 to 10 at.%. X-ray photoelectron spectroscope results showed that aluminum nitride was formed. X-ray diffraction results confirmed that the nanocrystalline phase TiN was with Si and Al in its structure, or (Ti, Al, Si) N. The matrix was amorphous silicon nitride containing aluminum nitride. Nanoindentation hardness of the thin films remained at about 28 GPa till Al addition was increased to 3.1 at.%.
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Keywords: Al Content; Magnetron Sputtering; Microstructure; Nanocomposite; Nanohardness; TiAlSiN

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Materials Science and Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China 2: Material Corrosion and Protection Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Sichuan University of Science and Engineering, Zigong 643000, China 3: Faculty of Materials and Energy, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China

Publication date: January 1, 2019

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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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