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Nanostructure and mechanical properties of WC–SiC thin films

  • Jose L. Endrino (a1) and James E. Krzanowski (a1)
Abstract

The mechanical properties of WC–SiC thin films deposited by dual radio frequency magnetron sputtering were investigated. The films were characterized by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction (XRD), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to evaluate the details of the microstructure and degree of amorphization. The results indicate that small additions of SiC (<25%) can significantly increase hardness compared to a pure WC film, but higher SiC contents do not strongly affect hardness. XRD studies show the SiC had a disordering effect. TEM results showed that WC films had coarse porous structure, but films with a low silicon carbide content (approximately 10 to 25 at%) had a denser nanocrystalline structure. Samples with greater than 25% SiC were amorphous. The initial hardness increase at lower SiC contents correlated well with the observed densification, but the transition to an amorphous structure did not strongly affect hardness.

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Journal of Materials Research
  • ISSN: 0884-2914
  • EISSN: 2044-5326
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-materials-research
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