Journal of Materials Research

Articles

Phase transformations in nanocomposite ZrAlN thin films during annealing

Lina Rogströma1 c1, Mats Ahlgrena2, Jonathan Almera3, Lars Hultmana4 and Magnus Odéna5

a1 Nanostructured Materials, Department of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology (IFM), Linköping University, S-581 83 Linköping, Sweden

a2 Sandvik Tooling AB, 126 80 Stockholm, Sweden

a3 Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439

a4 Thin Film Physics, Department of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology (IFM), Linköping University, S-581 83 Linköping, Sweden

a5 Nanostructured Materials, Department of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology (IFM), Linköping University, S-581 83 Linköping, Sweden

Abstract

Nanocomposite Zr0.52Al0.48N1.11 thin films consisting of crystalline grains surrounded by an amorphous matrix were deposited using cathodic arc evaporation. The structure evolution after annealing of the films was studied using high-energy x-ray scattering and transmission electron microscopy. The mechanical properties were characterized by nanoindentation on as-deposited and annealed films. After annealing in temperatures of 1050–1400 °C, nucleation and grain growth of cubic ZrN takes place in the film. This increases the hardness, which reaches a maximum, while parts of the film remain amorphous. Grain growth of the hexagonal AlN phase occurs above 1300 °C.

(Received November 23 2011)

(Accepted March 16 2012)

Key Words:

  • x-ray diffraction (XRD);
  • phase transformation;
  • physical vapor deposition (PVD)

Correspondence:

c1 Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail: linro@ifm.liu.se

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