TiBC coatings with different phase compositions (nanocrystalline TiB xCy or TiB2 phases mixed or not with amorphous carbon, a-C) were prepared by magnetron sputtering. These coatings were comparatively studied in terms of phase stability after thermal annealing at 250, 500, 750, and 1000 C in argon using Raman and x-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy techniques. The main differences were observed at temperatures above 500 C when oxidation processes occur and the mechanical properties deteriorate. At 1000 C, the samples were fully oxidized forming a-C, TiO 2, and B2O3 as final products. Higher hardness and reduced indentation modulus values and better tribological properties were observed at 750 C for nanocomposite structures including amorphous carbon and ternary TiBxCy phases. This behavior is attributed to a protective effect associated with the a-C phase which is achieved by the encapsulation of the nanocrystals in the coating and the better hard/lubricant phase ratio associated with this type of coating.
|Journal||Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2014|