Ion-beam irradiation effects on reactively sputtered CrN thin films
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The present study deals with CrN/Si bilayers irradiated at room temperature (RI) with 120 keV Ar ions. The CrN layers were deposited by d.c. reactive sputtering on Si(1 0 0) wafers, at different nitrogen partial pressures (2 x 10(-4), 3.5 x 10(-4) and 5 x 10(-4) mbar), to a total thickness of 240-280 nm. The substrates were held at room temperature (RI) or 150 degrees C during deposition. After deposition the CrN/Si bilayers were irradiated up to fluences of 1 x 10(15) and 1 x 10(16) ions/cm(2). Structural characterization was performed with Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS), cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (XTEM) and grazing angle X-ray diffraction (XRD). For the highest nitrogen pressure (5 x 10(-4) mbar) a pure stoichiometric CrN phase was achieved. The results showed that Ar ion irradiation resulted in the variation of the lattice constants, micro-strain and mean grain size of the CrN layers. The observed microstructural changes are due to the formation ...of the high density damage region in the CrN thin film structure. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords:CrN hard coatings / Ion irradiation / TEM / RBS / XRD
Source:Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 2010, 268, 19, 2883-2887
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