Deposition and Nanotribological Characterization of Sub-100-nm Thick Protective Ti-Based Coatings for Miniature Applications Academic Article uri icon


  • Ti-based protective thin films with thicknesses below 100 nm, intended for miniature applications were deposited using physical vapor deposition magnetron sputtering. X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy were employed for the assessment of microstructure, morphology, film thickness, surface topography, and roughness. XRD pattern showed the formation of f.c.c TiN, TiCN, and TiC phases with different preferred orientations for films prepared in Ar/N 2, ArZN 2 + C 2H 2, and Ar/C 2H 2 gas mixtures, respectively. Nanotribological performance was investigated using multipass nanoscratch technique at variable applied normal loads (100-400 μN). The nanoscale coefficient of friction was found to be in the 0.08-0.1 range, a sufficiently low value showing the potential of these films for miniature applications, such as microelectromechanical systems. The nanowear resistance at mean contact pressures in the range of 5-8.5 GPa for each sample was evaluated in terms of the average residual wear depth and an abrasive-dominated wear mechanism was found. © Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2011.

author list (cited authors)

  • Polychronopoulou, K., Lee, J., Tsotsos, C., Demas, N. G., Meschewski, R. L., Rebholz, C., & Polycarpou, A. A.

citation count

  • 10

publication date

  • August 2011