Preparation and characterization of superhard CNX/ZrN multilayers

Mei Ling Wu, Xi Wei Lin, Vinayak P Dravid, Yip-Wah Chung*, Ming Show Wong, William D. Sproul

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations


A dual-cathode, unbalanced dc magnetron sputtering system was used to grow CNx/ZrN multilayers on Si and polished M1 steel substrates at ambient temperature. Nanoindentation results showed that, under apprepriate conditions, it is possible to get CNx/ZrN multilayer coatings with hardness in the 50 GPa regime and modulus up to 410 GPa. X-ray diffraction studies revealed a strong correlation between hardness and the occurrence of (111) texture of ZrN. Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy showed a high degree of crystallinity throughout the coating without obvious voids. These multilayers are crystalline only at small bilayer thicknesses on the order of 2 nm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)946-950
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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