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Phase transformations in nanocomposite ZrAlN thin films during annealing

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 May 2012

Lina Rogström*
Nanostructured Materials, Department of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology (IFM), Linköping University, S-581 83 Linköping, Sweden
Mats Ahlgren
Sandvik Tooling AB, 126 80 Stockholm, Sweden
Jonathan Almer
Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439
Lars Hultman
Thin Film Physics, Department of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology (IFM), Linköping University, S-581 83 Linköping, Sweden
Magnus Odén
Nanostructured Materials, Department of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology (IFM), Linköping University, S-581 83 Linköping, Sweden
a)Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail:
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Nanocomposite Zr0.52Al0.48N1.11 thin films consisting of crystalline grains surrounded by an amorphous matrix were deposited using cathodic arc evaporation. The structure evolution after annealing of the films was studied using high-energy x-ray scattering and transmission electron microscopy. The mechanical properties were characterized by nanoindentation on as-deposited and annealed films. After annealing in temperatures of 1050–1400 °C, nucleation and grain growth of cubic ZrN takes place in the film. This increases the hardness, which reaches a maximum, while parts of the film remain amorphous. Grain growth of the hexagonal AlN phase occurs above 1300 °C.

Copyright © Materials Research Society 2012

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