Characterization of Hard Coatings Modified with Nitrogen Implantation


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In this paper, we present results of a study of TiN films which are deposited by Physical Vapor Deposition and Ion Beam Assisted Deposition. In the present investigation the subsequent ion implantation was provided with N2+ ions. The ion implantation was applied to enhance the mechanical properties of the surface. The film deposition process exerts a number of effects such as crystallographic orientation, morphology, topography, densification of the films. The evolution of the microstructure from porous and columnar grains to densely packed grains is accompanied by changes in mechanical and physical properties. A variety of analytic techniques were used for characterization, such as scratch test, calo test, SEM, AFM, XRD and EDAX. The experimental results indicated that the mechanical hardness is elevated by penetration of nitrogen, whereas the Young’s modulus is significantly elevated. Thin hard coatings deposited by physical vapour deposition (PVD), e.g. titanium nitride (TiN) are frequently used to improve tribological performance in many engineering applications. Ion bombardment during vapour deposition of thin films, colled ion beam assisted deposition (IBAD), exerts a number of effects such as densification, changes in grain size, crystallographic orientation, morphology and topography of the films. This paper describes the successful use of the nanoindentation technique for determination of hardness and elastic modulus. In the nanoindentation technique, hardness and Young’s modulus can be determined by the Oliver and Pharr method. Therefore, in recent years, a number of measurements have been made in which nanoindentation and AFM have been combined.



Defect and Diffusion Forum (Volumes 297-301)

Edited by:

Andreas Öchsner, Graeme E. Murch, Ali Shokuhfar and João M.P.Q. Delgado






B. Skoric et al., "Characterization of Hard Coatings Modified with Nitrogen Implantation", Defect and Diffusion Forum, Vols. 297-301, pp. 1027-1036, 2010

Online since:

April 2010




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