Structure and hardness studies of CNx/TiN nanocomposite coatings

Dong Li*, Xi Wei Lin, Shang Cong Cheng, Vinayak P. Dravid, Yip Wah Chung, Ming Show Wong, William D. Sproul

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Crystalline CNx/TiN multilayer composite coatings have been synthesized using an opposed cathode unbalanced magnetron sputtering system. Electron microscopy studies showed that the CNx/TiN coatings were fully crystalline and dense at small bilayer thicknesses. An amorphous phase was formed when the CNx layer thickness exceeded 4-5 nm. Two new d spacings extracted by Fourier transform of digitized images of the crystalline CNx region cannot be matched by known compounds formed by the detected elements. This provides limited evidence for the possible formation of a new carbon-nitrogen compound. Nanoindentation hardness about 45-55 GPa was reproducibly achieved for coatings produced under low nitrogen partial pressure and high substrate bias (-150 to -250 V). TiN (111) preferred orientation was strongly correlated to the high coating hardness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1211
Number of pages1
JournalApplied Physics Letters
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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