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Structural Investigation of AlN/SiO x Nanocomposite Hard Coatings Fabricated by Differential Pumping Cosputtering

  • Masahiro Kawasaki (a1), Masateru Nose (a2), Ichiro Onishi (a3) and Makoto Shiojiri (a4)


AlN/SiO x nanocomposite coatings fabricated by differential pumping cosputtering (DPCS) were investigated by analytical electron microscopy. The DPCS system consists of two halves of a Chamber, A and B, for radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering deposition of different materials, and a substrate holder that rotates through the chambers. Al and SiO2 were sputtered in gas environments with a flow mixture of N2 and Ar gases at RF power of 200 W in the Al Chamber A and a flow of Ar gas at RF powers of 49 W in the SiO2 Chamber B. The substrates of (001) Si wafers heated at 250°C were rotated for 1,080 min at 3 rpm and alternately deposited by AlN and SiO2. AlN columnar crystals grew at a rate of ~0.3 nm/revolution preferentially along the hexagonal [0001] axis. Amorphous silicon oxide (a-SiO x ), deposited at a rate of ~0.2 nm/revolution, was coagulated preferentially along the boundaries between the AlN columns and also the interfaces between the subgrains within the AlN columns. The a-SiO x played an important role in the increase in mechanical hardness of the AlN/SiO x composite coating by disturbing deformation of AlN crystal lattices.


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Current address: 1-297 Wakiyama, Kyoto 618-0091, Japan.



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Structural Investigation of AlN/SiO x Nanocomposite Hard Coatings Fabricated by Differential Pumping Cosputtering

  • Masahiro Kawasaki (a1), Masateru Nose (a2), Ichiro Onishi (a3) and Makoto Shiojiri (a4)


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