The surface modification induced by nitrogen ion implantation on the Al-alloy 7075 has been studied with the aim of understanding the microstructural evolution and the phase separation during the implantation process. 150 keV N2 + ions have been implanted at different temperatures from 373 K to 473 K, with a current density of 5–15 µA/cm2 on previously polished samples. The implanted dose was in the range 1 × 1017 N/cm2 - 5 × 1017 N/cm2. Vickers micro-hardness tests and friction coefficient measurements show a real improvement in the mechanical behaviour of the alloy after the treatment.
TEM observations of specimens treated at low temperature with different ion dose have been carried out at 200 kV on cross-sectional samples, prepared by ion beam milling. First results show the presence of small AlN hexagonal precipitates whose evolution is followed as a function of the implanted dose.