MoSi2 is a potential matrix material for high temperature structural composites due to its high melting temperature and good oxidation resistance at elevated temperatures. The two major drawbacksfor structural applications are inadequate high temperature strength and poor low temperature ductility. The search for appropriate composite additions has been the focus of extensive investigations in recent years. The addition of SiC in a nanolayered configuration was shown to exhibit superior oxidation resistance and significant hardness increase through annealing at 500°C. One potential application of MoSi2- SiC multilayers is for high temperature coatings, where structural stability ofthe layering is of major concern. In this study, we have systematically investigated both the evolution of phases and the stability of layers by varying the heat treating conditions.
Alternating layers of MoSi2 and SiC were synthesized by DC-magnetron and rf-diode sputtering respectively. Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (XTEM) was used to examine three distinct reactions in the specimens when exposed to different annealing conditions: crystallization and phase transformation of MoSi2, crystallization of SiC, and spheroidization of the layer structures.