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Structural and mechanical properties of magnetron sputtered (NbxMo1-x)C thin films
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Chemistry, Department of Chemistry - Ångström, Inorganic Chemistry.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5445-1374
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Solar Cell Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2101-3746
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Chemistry, Department of Chemistry - Ångström, Inorganic Chemistry.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8082-1671
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Chemistry, Department of Chemistry - Ångström, Inorganic Chemistry.
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2024 (English)In: Vacuum, ISSN 0042-207X, E-ISSN 1879-2715, Vol. 224, article id 113146Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

While transition metal carbides (TMCs) exhibit favourable mechanical properties, alloying according to the valence electron concentration (VEC) has the potential to further enhance the properties of these hard but inherently brittle materials. This study investigates the influence of alloying on the microstructure and mechanical properties of (NbxMo1-x)C carbide films, including binary references and ternary compositions with varying metal ratios (x between 0.35 and 0.53). Furthermore, the influence of various substrate materials is studied by comparing films deposited on Al2O3, MgO and SiO2. All films exhibit a NaCl-type carbide structure and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed the presence of small amounts of an additional amorphous carbon (a-C) phase. Hardness values around 20 ± 2 GPa were obtained for the films on Al2O3 and MgO, whereas a reduced hardness of 11 ± 1 GPa was observed for the films on SiO2 which is attributed to larger crystallite size and more polycrystalline structure. Overall no clear trend as a function of composition can be noted, indicating that microstructure effects dominate the mechanical properties in this study overshadowing the effect of varying the metal content.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2024. Vol. 224, article id 113146
Keywords [en]
Magnetron sputtering, Ceramic coating, Transition metal carbides, Mechanical properties
National Category
Materials Chemistry
Research subject
Chemistry with specialization in Materials Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-517298DOI: 10.1016/j.vacuum.2024.113146ISI: 001218592400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-517298DiVA, id: diva2:1825392
Part of project
Design of new multi-principal element thin films with carbon, Swedish Research Council
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2018-04834Swedish Research Council, 2017-00646_9Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, RIF14-0053Available from: 2024-01-09 Created: 2024-01-09 Last updated: 2024-05-31Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Investigation of compositionally complex refractory metal based thin films
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Investigation of compositionally complex refractory metal based thin films
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The search for new and improved materials has led to the discovery and establishment of compositionally complex or high-entropy materials. The work in this thesis is focused on the investigation of new compositionally complex materials based on the refractory metals of groups 4-6. The materials in this work were synthesised using non-reactive dc magnetron sputtering and three material systems have been studied: HfNbTiVZr-C, CrTiTaWNb-C and Nb-Mo-C. In the context of compositionally complex materials, this thesis aims to contribute specifically to questions regarding (i) the prediction of phase formation and stability (ii) the chemical interaction between atoms (iii) the correlation between the material properties and compositional complexity. 

The prediction of phase formation and stability using calculated phase diagram (CALPHAD) methods was studied in the HfNbTiVZr-C system. The findings suggest that CALPHAD methods are promising predictive tools, although kinetic effects during synthesis need to be taken into consideration. Furthermore, theoretical, and experimental evidence of charge transfer effects was demonstrated within the HfNbTiVZr-C system. The results of ab initio materials simulations and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) measurements highlight the importance of understanding and considering the local chemical environment and chemical interactions in compositionally complex materials.

The approach of metal alloying according to the valence electron concentration (VEC) to tune the mechanical properties was studied in the Nb-Mo-C system. The findings show the importance of microstructural effects on the mechanical properties in the studied thin film materials, which can overshadow the compositional or VEC variations. 

The response to Xe heavy-ion irradiation was studied in the CrTiTaWNb-C system using in situ irradiation experiments. This work presents a comparison between three different compositions: a TaW-rich alloy and carbide thin film as well as a near-equimolar carbide film. The findings indicate that both microstructure and chemical homogeneity play important roles when it comes to radiation damage tolerance in compositional complex materials.

This thesis demonstrates the elaborate and multifaceted nature of compositionally complex materials. Whether it comes to the fundamental understanding or the effective implementation of a materials design tool, many factors need to be taken into consideration, including chemical interactions between the constituent elements and microstructural effects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2024. p. 70
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 2355
Keywords
Magnetron sputtering, Thin films, High entropy materials, Refractory metals, Transition metal carbides
National Category
Materials Chemistry
Research subject
Chemistry with specialization in Materials Chemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-517268 (URN)978-91-513-2007-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2024-03-01, Häggsalen - Ångströmlaboratory, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2018-04834
Available from: 2024-02-07 Created: 2024-01-11 Last updated: 2024-02-07

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Osinger, BarbaraDonzel-Gargand, OlivierFritze, StefanJansson, UlfLewin, Erik

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