Thermal decomposition products in arc evaporated TiAlN/TiN multilayers

Knutsson, A.; Johansson, M. P.; Persson, P. O. Å.; Hultman, L.; Odén, M.
October 2008
Applied Physics Letters;10/6/2008, Vol. 93 Issue 14, p143110
Academic Journal
Cubic metastable Ti0.34Al0.66N/TiN multilayers were grown by reactive arc evaporation using Ti33–Al67 and Ti cathodes in a N2 atmosphere. X-ray diffractometry and high resolution transmission electron microscopy revealed that metastable c-Ti0.34Al0.66N partly decomposes after annealing at 900 °C into c-TiN rich and c-AlN rich phases with retained lattice coherency. Elemental mapping by energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy showed a homogenous distribution of Ti and Al in the as-deposited 25 nm Ti0.34Al0.66N layers. The annealed Ti0.34Al0.66N layers exhibited coherent 5 nm domains with high Al content surrounded by a high Ti content matrix. This nanostructure formation is discussed in terms of spinodal decomposition.


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