Synthesis and Characterization of Multifunctional Carbide- and Boride-based Thin Films
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
This thesis present research on synthesis, microstructure, and properties of carbide- and boride- based thin films. The films have been synthesized by dc magnetron sputtering, and their microstructures have been characterized mainly by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray diffraction, and transmission electron microscopy. One of the main objectives with this research has been to evaluate the thin films potential as materials for sliding electrical contact applications and this have influenced, which properties that have been evaluated.
Co-sputtered Nb-C films have a microstructure comprising of nanocrystalline NbCx (nc-NbCx) grains embedded in a matrix of amorphous C (a-C). A thinner a-C matrix form in the Nb-C films compared to the well-studied Ti-C system. As a consequence, the Nb-C films have a higher hardness and conductivity than previously studied Ti-C sputtered under similar conditions. The promising electrical contact properties are attained for reactively sputtered Nb-C films under industrial conditions, at deposition rates two orders of magnitude higher. A reduction in crystallinity is seen when Si is added to the Nb-C films and amorphous films forms at Si content > 25 at.%. The alloying of Si was however not beneficial for the electrical contact properties.
Substoichiometric CrB2-x (B/Cr = 1.5) and NbB2-x (B/Nb = 1.8) films are achieved when deposited from MeB2 targets. Boron segregates to grain boundaries forming a B-rich tissue phase. This result in superhardness for the NbB2-x films (42 ± 4 GPa) as well as a low friction attributed to the formation of a boric acid film. Carbon forms a solid solution in the MeB2 grains as well as segregating to grain boundaries forming an amorphous BCx (a-BCx) phase when alloyed to CrB2-x and NbB2-x films. The formation of the a-BCx phase drastically improves the electrical contact resistance of the NbB2-x films. However, the mechanical properties are degraded, which result in a high friction and wear rate.
It was in TEM studies of the metastable amorphous structures for the Nb-Si-C films found that the electron beam induces crystallization. Hence, great care is required when studying these types of metastable structures.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. , 79 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1127
thin film, coating, magnetron sputtering, nanocomposite, boride, carbide, electrical properties, mechanical properties
Research subject Chemistry with specialization in Materials Chemistry
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-219040ISBN: 978-91-554-8886-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-219040DiVA: diva2:698085
2014-04-04, Polhemssalen, Ångströmslaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Gulbinski, Witold, professor
Jansson, Ulf, professor
List of papers