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Growth of Ti3SiC2 thin films by elemental target magnetron sputtering
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2004 (English)In: Journal of Applied Physics, ISSN 0021-8979, E-ISSN 1089-7550, Vol. 96, no 9, 4817-4826 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Epitaxial Ti3SiC2(0001) thin films have been deposited by dc magnetron sputtering from three elemental targets of Ti, C, and Si onto MgO(111) and Al2O3(0001) substrates at temperatures of 800–900 °C. This process allows composition control to synthesize Mn + 1AXn (MAX) phases (M: early transition metal; A: A-group element; X: C and/or N; n = 1–3) including Ti4SiC3. Depositions on MgO(100) substrates yielding the Ti–Si–C MAX phases with (105), as the preferred orientation. Samples grown at different substrate temperatures, studied by means of transmission electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction investigations, revealed the constraints of Ti3SiC2 nucleation due to kinetic limitations at substrate temperatures below 700 °C. Instead, there is a competitive TiCx growth with Si segregation to form twin boundaries or Si substitutional incorporation in TiCx. Physical properties of the as-deposited single-crystal Ti3SiC2 films were determined. A low resistivity of 25 µ cm was measured. The Young's modulus, ascertained by nanoindentation, yielded a value of 343–370 GPa. For the mechanical deformation response of the material, probing with cube corner and Berkovich indenters showed an initial high hardness of almost 30 GPa. With increased maximum indentation loads, the hardness was observed to decrease toward bulk values as the characteristic kink formation sets in with dislocation ordering and delamination at basal planes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 96, no 9, 4817-4826 p.
Keyword [en]
Mechanical-properties, elasticmoduls, phase, carbide, si, deposition, diffusion, additions, hardness, tolerant
National Category
Inorganic Chemistry
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-69306DOI: 10.1063/1.1790571ISI: 000224799300016OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-69306DiVA: diva2:97217
Available from: 2005-03-30 Created: 2005-03-30 Last updated: 2014-01-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Carbide and MAX-Phase Engineering by Thin Film Synthesis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Carbide and MAX-Phase Engineering by Thin Film Synthesis
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Karbid och MAX-fas design med tunnfilmssyntes
Abstract [en]

This thesis reports on the development of low-temperature processes for transition metal carbide and MAX-phase thin film growth. Magnetron sputtering and evaporation, far from thermodynamical equilibrium, have been utilised to engineer the properties of the films by physical and chemical control. Deposition of W, W2C and β-WC1-x films with controlled microstructure, from nanocrystalline to epitaxial, is shown in the W-C system down to 100 oC. W films with upto 20 at% C exhibited an extreme solid-solution hardening effect, with a nanoindentation hardness maximum of 35 GPa. Furthermore, the design of epitaxial ternary carbide films is demonstrated in the Ti1-xVxCy system in the form of controlled unit-cell parameters, strain-free films with a perfect match to the substrate, and ternary epitaxial gradient films. Moreover, phase stabilisation and pseudomorphic growth can be tuned in (Nb,Mo)C and (Ti,W)C films. The results obtained can be used for example to optimise electrical contacts in SiC high-power semiconductor devices.

A large part of this thesis focuses on the deposition of MAX-phases. These compounds constitute a family of thermally stable nanolaminates with composition Mn+1AXn, n=1, 2 or 3, where M is an early transition metal, A is generally a group 13-14 element, and X is C or N. They show a combination of typical ceramic and metallic properties and are also machinable by virtue of the unique deformation behaviour observed only in laminates. So far, the MAX-phases have almost exclusively been prepared by high-temperature sintering and studied in bulk form. However, this thesis establishes a patented seed layer approach for successful MAX-phase thin film depositions down to 750 oC. For the first time, single-phase and epitaxial films of Ti3SiC2, Ti3AlC2 and Ti2AlC have been grown. The method has also been used to synthesise a new MAX-phase, Ti4SiC3. In addition, two previously unreported intergrown MAX-type structures are presented, Ti5Si2C3 and Ti7Si2C5. Combined theoretical and experimental results show the possibility to deposit films with very low bulk resistivity and designed mechanical properties. Furthermore, the demonstration of MAX-phase and carbide multilayer films paves the way for macrostructure engineering, for example, in coatings for low-friction or wear applications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2004. 70 p.
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1104-232X ; 930
Inorganic chemistry, Thin films, microstructure, epitaxy, carbide, WC, MAX-phase, Ti3SiC2, DC magnetron sputtering, PVD, Reciprocal Space Mapping, RSM, Oorganisk kemi
National Category
Inorganic Chemistry
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-3972 (URN)91-554-5858-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-02-27, Polhemsalen, Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala, 13:15
Available from: 2004-01-29 Created: 2004-01-29 Last updated: 2014-01-24Bibliographically approved

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