In this work, thin films deposited by pulsed DC magnetron sputtering of [Ti–Al/Ti–Al–N] n and [Ti–Cr/Ti–Cr–N] n multilayers of nanometric periods were analyzed by AFM in contact mode to measure values of lateral and normal forces. From these measurements, the coefficient of friction (COF) of these materials in contact with the AFM tip was calculated. Measurements were made with three types of silicon tips, diamond-coated, Pt–Cr-coated, and bare silicon. Significant differences between the tip materials in contact with the samples, which affected the COF, were observed. The effect of the environmental layer of water covering the surface sample and the tip appears as the most important factor affecting the tribology behavior of the tip-sample contact. For diamond-coated and bare silicon tips there is an additional adherence force increasing the normal load. But for tips platinum–chromium-coated there is a repulsive force due to this water layer, which behaves as a lubricant layer before a threshold load.
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This work was partially supported by ‘‘El Patrimonio Autónomo Fondo Nacional de Financiamiento para la Ciencia, la Tecnología y la Innovación Francisco José de Caldas’’ Contract RC-no. 275-2011 and CONACYT, México. Moreover, the authors acknowledge the Serveis Cientifico-Tecnics of the Universitat de Barcelona for SEM analysis and L. Ipaz thanks COLCIENCIAS for the doctoral fellowship.
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Ipaz, L., Ruiz-Luna, H., Espinoza-Beltrán, F.J. et al. Correlation Between Mechanical Properties and Nanofriction of [Ti–Cr/Ti–Cr–N] n and [Ti–Al/Ti–Al–N] n Multilayers. Tribol Lett 49, 403–412 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11249-012-0081-y
- Atomic force microscopy
- Coefficient of friction