Pseudobinary V0.5Mo0.5Nx(111) alloys with the B1-NaCl crystal structure are grown on Al2O3(0001) substrates in an ultra-high-vacuum system by reactive magnetron sputter deposition in mixed Ar/N2 atmospheres at temperatures Ts between 100 and 900 °C. Nitrogen-to-metal, N/(V + Mo), fractions x vary monotonically from 0.9 ± 0.1 with Ts = 100 °C to 0.4 ± 0.1 at Ts = 900 °C. Nitrogen loss at higher growth temperatures leads to a corresponding decrease in the relaxed lattice parameter ao from 4.21 ± 0.01 Å at Ts = 300 °C to 4.125 ± 0.005 Å with Ts = 900 °C. Scanning electron micrographs of cube-corner nanoindents extending into the substrate show that the films are relatively ductile, exhibiting material pile-up (plastic flow) around the indent edges. Nanoindentation hardnesses H and elastic moduli E, obtained using a calibrated Berkovich tip, of V0.5Mo0.5Nx(111) layers increase with increasing Ts (decreasing x) from 15 ± 1 and 198 ± 5 GPa at 100 °C to 23 ± 2 and 381 ± 11 GPa at 900 °C. These values are lower than the corresponding results obtained for the 001-oriented V0.5Mo0.5Nx films. In addition, film wear resistance increases with increasing Ts, while the coefficient of friction, under 1000 μN loads, is 0.09 ± 0.01 for all layers.
Growth and mechanical properties of 111-oriented V0.5Mo0.5Nx/Al2O3(0001) thin films
Hanna Kindlund, Jun Lu, Esteban Broitman, Ivan Petrov, J. E. Greene, Jens Birch, Lars Hultman; Growth and mechanical properties of 111-oriented V0.5Mo0.5Nx/Al2O3(0001) thin films. J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 1 September 2018; 36 (5): 051512. https://doi.org/10.1116/1.5045048
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