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Influence of Sputtering Target Power on Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of W-N and Ta-N Coatings

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W-N and Ta-N coatings were manufactured using r.f. reactive magnetron sputtering technique in mixed atmosphere of Ar + N2. The effect of sputtering power on the microstructure and mechanical properties of these coatings has been investigated. It was found that increasing sputtering power induced structure transformation of W-N and Ta-N coatings from hexagonal WN to fcc β-W2N and from fcc TaN through a mixture of orthorhombic Ta3N5 and fcc TaN to orthorhombic Ta3N5, respectively. The increase in sputtering power led to grain refinement which played a major role in hardness enhancement. At the highest sputtering power of 100W, the average grain size of Ta-N and W-N coatings reduced to minimum value of 7 nm and 21 nm, correspondingly the hardness reached maximum value of 29 GPa and 31 GPa, respectively. However, Ta-N and W-N coatings possessed the biggest adhesion strength of ∼41 N and ∼48 N at the lowest sputtering power of 40 W and 25 W, respectively.
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Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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  • 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.
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