In this study, we have studied the influence of nitrogen content on the mechanical properties of nanostructure medium entropy (TiVCrAl)Nx films prepared by magnetron sputtering. A transition from body-centered cubic nanocrystalline phases to an face-centered cubic columnar crystal structure has been observed in the medium entropy films as the nitrogen flow increases. With increasing nitrogen flow, the lattice constant of the film first increases and then decreases due to the change of composition from substoichiometric to overstoichiometric, resulting in the different bond length of Metal-N. The hardness of the films first increases and then decreases with the increase of nitrogen flow. When the nitrogen flow was 25 sccm, the hardness reached the maximum value of 23.1 GPa. Moreover, the film has shorter cracks length and a higher hardness/modulus ratio, exhibiting enhanced fracture toughness. The increased hardness primarily results from the formation of bonds between metals and nitrogen and the strengthening of a solid solution and a grain boundary.

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