Structure and mechanical properties of epitaxial TiN/Vo.3Nbo.7N(100) superlattices

P. B. Mirkarimi, S. A. Barnett, K. M. Hubbard, T. R. Jervis, L. Hultman

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87 Scopus citations


Epitaxial TiN/Vo^NbojN superlattices with a 1.7% lattice mismatch between the layers were grown by reactive magnetron sputtering on MgO(OOl) substrates. Superlattice structure, crystalline perfection, composition modulation amplitudes, and coherency strains were studied using transmission electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction. Hardness H and elastic modulus were measured by nanoindentation. H increased rapidly with increasing A, peaking at H values —75% greater than rule-of-mixtures values at A — 6 nm, before decreasing slightly with further increases in A. A comparison with previously studied lattice-matched TiN/Vo.6Nbo.4N superlattices, which had nearly identical composition modulation amplitudes, showed a similar H variation, but a smaller H enhancement of =^50%. The results suggest that coherency strains, which were larger for the mismatched TiN/V0.3Nb0.7N superlattices, were responsible for the larger hardness enhancement. The results are discussed in terms of coherency strain theories developed for spinodally decomposed materials. Nanoindenter elastic modulus results showed no significant anomalies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1456-1467
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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