Structural, mechanical and electrical-contact properties of nanocrystalline-NbC/amorphous-C coatings deposited by magnetron sputtering
2011 (English)In: Surface & Coatings Technology, ISSN 0257-8972, E-ISSN 1879-3347, Vol. 206, no 2-3, 354-359 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Niobium-carbide nanocomposite coatings with a carbon content varying from 43 to 64 at.% were deposited by dual DC magnetron sputtering. X-ray diffraction, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and electron microscopy showed that all coatings consisted of nanometer sized NbC grains embedded in a matrix of amorphous carbon. Mechanical properties and electrical resistivity showed a strong dependency on the amount of amorphous carbon (a-C) and NbC grain size in the coating. The highest hardness (23 GPa), elastic modulus (295 GPa) and the lowest resistivity (260 mu Omega cm) were measured for the coating with about 15% of a-C phase. Contact resistance measurements using a crossed cylinder set-up showed lowest contact resistance for the coating containing 33% a-C (140 mu Omega at a contact force of 100 N), which is comparable to a Ag reference (45 mu Omega at a contact force of 100 N). Comparison with TiC-based nanocomposites studied under similar conditions showed that the Nb-C system has less tendency to form a-C and that lowest contact resistance is obtained at comparable amounts of a-C phase in both material systems (33% for Nb-C compared to 35% for Ti-C). With these good electrical contact properties, the Nb- C nanocomposites can be considered as a potential material for electrical contact applications.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 206, no 2-3, 354-359 p.
Nanocomposite, Niobium carbide, Electrical contact properties, Mechanical properties, Magnetron sputtering
Natural Sciences Inorganic Chemistry
Research subject Chemistry with specialization in Inorganic Chemistry
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-160716DOI: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2011.07.021ISI: 000295386900023OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-160716DiVA: diva2:453402