Growth, structure, and microhardness of epitaxial TiN/NbN superlattices

M. Shinn, S. A. Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

351 Scopus citations


Epitaxial TiN/NbN superlattices with wavelengths A ranging from 1.6 to 450 nm have been grown by reactive magnetron sputtering on MgO(100). Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (XTEM) studies showed well-defined superlattice layers. Voided low-angle boundaries, aligned perpendicular to the film plane, were also present. High-resolution images showed misfit dislocations for A — 9.4 nm, but not A = 4.6 nm. Up to ninth-order superlattice reflections were observed in diffraction, indicating that the interfaces were relatively sharp. Analysis of the first-order x-ray superlattice reflection intensities indicated that the composition modulation amplitude increased and the coherency strains decreased for A increased from 2 to 10 nm. Vickers microhardness H was found to increase rapidly with increasing A, from 1700 kg/mm2for a TiN-NbN alloy (i.e., A = 0) to a maximum of 4900 kg/mm2at A = 4.6 nm. H decreased gradually for further increases in A above 4.6 nm, to H =2500 kg/mm2at A = 450 nm. The hardness results are compared with theories for strengthening of multilayers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)901-911
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Growth, structure, and microhardness of epitaxial TiN/NbN superlattices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this