The superhardness effect of nanocomposite films is closely related to the thickness of the interfacial phase, . The influence of the thickness of on the growth structure and mechanical properties of nanocomposite films was determined by studying multilayers with different thicknesses of layers to reveal the strengthening mechanism of the nanocomposite films. The results show that , which is amorphous in single film, can exist as a crystalline structure in multilayers when the thickness of the layers is less than because of the “template effect” of . As a result, and layers form a coherent epitaxial growth with a preferred orientation. As a result, the multilayers exhibit a superhardness effect. When the thickness is greater than , exists as an amorphous structure and prevents from coherent epitaxial growth with it, resulting in the decrease of the hardness and elastic moduli of the multilayers. The experiments reveal that when the thickness is less than , the interfacial phase in nanocomposite films may have the same structure as that in multilayers. The strengthening mechanism of nanocomposite films may be the same as that of nanomultilayers formed by the coherent epitaxial growth of two layers with different moduli.
Study on the superhardness mechanism of nanocomposite films: Influence of the thickness of the interfacial phase
Xiaoping Hu, Huijuan Zhang, Jiawei Dai, Geyang Li, Mingyuan Gu; Study on the superhardness mechanism of nanocomposite films: Influence of the thickness of the interfacial phase. Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A 1 January 2005; 23 (1): 114–117. https://doi.org/10.1116/1.1821583
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