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Acta Metall Sin  2017, Vol. 53 Issue (4): 465-471    DOI: 10.11900/0412.1961.2016.00259
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Effects of Cu on Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of AlN/TiN-Cu Nanocomposite Multilayers
Jin LIU1,Yuanxia LAO1,Yuan WANG1,2()
1 Key Laboratory of Radiation Physics and Technology of Ministry of Education, Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China
2 Key Laboratory of Nuclear Materials and Safety Assessment, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China
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The nanocomposite multilayers, composed by typical nitride ceramic (AlN and TiN), have been developed for variety of application for its excellent properties such as structure stability and high hardness as well as low friction coefficient. By adding an appropriate amount of soft metal, the mechanical performance of the film can be significantly improved including intensity, tenacity and friction coefficient, but microstructure and hardness will be greatly influenced. In this work, AlN/TiN-Cu nanocomposite multilayers combining AlN with composite layer formed by adding soft phase metal Cu into hard TiN phase were prepared by multi-arc ion plating equipment. The microstructure and phase composition of the films were characterized by FESEM, HRTEM and XRD respectively. The hardness and the bond strength of the films were detected by Vickers hardness test and scratch method. The effects of Cu on microstructure and mechanical properties of AlN/TiN-Cu nanocomposite multilayers were investigated. The results show that the microstructure of the films was affected by the doping of Cu. The average grain size of the films reduced with the increase of Cu content. The hardness of films increased after the dropping of Cu. However, the critical loads of the films with different types have different changing trends. The critical load of the nanocomposite monolayers increased while that of the nanocomposite multilayers decreased.

Key words:  multi-arc ion plating      nanocomposite multilayer      hardness      critical load     
Received:  27 June 2016     
Fund: Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos.51171124 and 11505121), International Science and Technology Cooperation Program of China (No.2014DFR50710) and Scientific and Technical Supporting Programs Funded by the Science and Technology Department of Sichuan Province (No.2014GZ0004) and Research Program of the Key Laboratory of Nuclear Materials and Safety Assessment Chinese Academy of Sciences (No.2017NMSAKF02)

Cite this article: 

Jin LIU,Yuanxia LAO,Yuan WANG. Effects of Cu on Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of AlN/TiN-Cu Nanocomposite Multilayers. Acta Metall Sin, 2017, 53(4): 465-471.

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Sample Number N Ti Al Cu
(Ti, Al)N-Cu 1# 18.60 68.27 13.13 0
nanocomposite 2# 34.08 52.15 10.06 3.72
monolayer 3# 30.75 43.77 18.25 7.23
4# 28.49 41.67 16.51 13.32
AlN/TiN-Cu 5# 27.75 54.78 17.47 0
nanocomposite 6# 23.06 64.47 9.98 2.49
multilayer 7# 36.27 37.98 20.75 5.03
8# 44.03 27.73 20.03 8.21
Table 1  Numbers and element compositions of samples(atomic fraction / %)
Fig.1  SEM fracture surface images of typical samples (Inset in Figs.1c and d show the magnified images of the square areas)
(a) 1#, (Ti, Al)N (b) 3#, (Ti, Al)N-Cu (c) 5#, AlN/TiN (d) 7#, AlN/TiN-Cu
Fig.2  XRD spectra of monolayer samples (a) and multilayer samples (b)
Fig.3  HRTEM images and SAED (insets) of monolayer sample 3# (a) and multilayer sample 7# (b), HRTEM images embedded with fourier transformation (FTF) images (insets) corresponding to regions B1 (c) and B2 (d) in Fig.3b, respectively (EDS result of multilayer sample 7# is also showed in Fig.3b, dotted line in Fig.3c indicates the interface of multilayer sample)
Fig.4  Relationships between Cu content and grain size and hardness
(a) nanocomposite monolayer samples (b) nanocomposite multilayer samples
Fig.4  Relationships between Cu content and grain size and hardness
(a) nanocomposite monolayer samples (b) nanocomposite multilayer samples
Fig.5  SEM images of scratch test of monolayer sample 3# (a) and multilayer sample 7# (b)
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