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Phase transformations in nanocomposite ZrAlN thin films during annealing

  • Lina Rogström (a1), Mats Ahlgren (a2), Jonathan Almer (a3), Lars Hultman (a4) and Magnus Odén (a5)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 30 May 2012

Nanocomposite Zr0.52Al0.48N1.11 thin films consisting of crystalline grains surrounded by an amorphous matrix were deposited using cathodic arc evaporation. The structure evolution after annealing of the films was studied using high-energy x-ray scattering and transmission electron microscopy. The mechanical properties were characterized by nanoindentation on as-deposited and annealed films. After annealing in temperatures of 1050–1400 °C, nucleation and grain growth of cubic ZrN takes place in the film. This increases the hardness, which reaches a maximum, while parts of the film remain amorphous. Grain growth of the hexagonal AlN phase occurs above 1300 °C.

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