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Nitrogen Implantation Effects on the Chemical Bonding and Hardness of Boron and Boron Nitride Coatings

  • Alan Jankowski (a1), Thomas Felter (a1), Robert Patterson (a1), Jeffrey Hayes (a1), Simone Anders (a2), Thomas Stamler (a2) and David Poker (a3)...

Abstract

Boron nitride (BN) coatings are deposited by the reactive sputtering of fully dense, boron (B) targets utilizing an argon-nitrogen (Ar-N2) reactive gas mixture. Near-edge x-ray absorption fine structure analysis reveals features of chemical bonding in the B ls photoabsorption spectrum. Hardness is measured at the film surface using nanoindentation. The BN coatings prepared at low, sputter gas pressure with substrate heating are found to have bonding characteristic of a defected hexagonal phase. The coatings are subjected to post-deposition nitrogen (N+ and N2 +) implantation at different energies and current densities. The changes in film hardness attributed to the implantation can be correlated to changes observed in the B ls NEXAFS spectra.

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