Characterizations of Binary FeCr (AISI 430) Thin Films Deposited from a Single Magnetron Sputtering Under Easy Controllable Deposition Parameters


A series of 50-nm binary FeCr martensitic thin films were sputtered from a single source made of commercial AISI 430 ferritic stainless steel under the deposition rates gradually increased from 0.03 to 0.11 nm/s with 0.02 nm/s steps at stationary condition. And, under 0.09 nm/s deposition rate, a second series of the films were also deposited under the rotation speed of their substrates which was chosen at 0, 25, and 45 rpm. As far as we are concerned, this study is the first investigation of properties of the thin films produced from AISI 430. The atomic Fe content in the films increased from 79.3 to 98.6% while atomic Cr content decreased from 20.5 to 1.2% with the increase of deposition rate from 0.03 to 0.11 nm/s. According to compositional analysis, the Fe content increased while Cr content decreased with increasing deposition rate. The reason for this may be attributed to the relatively different bond energy/melting point of metals which have different contents sputtered from source material since this physical parameter is very significant for the sputtering process. And, the Fe content in the films decreased from 84.9 to 79.2 at. % while the Cr content increased from 14.9 to 20.6 at. % when the increase of rotation speed of substrate. The crystal structure of all films was observed to have a body-centered tetragonal phase and the intensity of (110) peak varied with the atomic Fe content. The surface observations of films performed by a scanning electron microscope exposed that the number of surface grains increased with the increase of deposition rate and decreased with the increase of rotation speed. According to surface roughness analysis done by an atomic force microscope, the roughness of the film surfaces increased as the deposition rate increased. And, the roughness of the film surfaces decreased as the rotation speed increased. This has been consistent with the grain size and roughness parameters. Thus, increasing deposition rate and decreasing rotation speed of the substrate caused an increase in grain size and roughness parameters. The magnetic measurements of the films achieved, by a vibrating sample magnetometer at room temperature, displayed that the saturation magnetization, Ms, values increased from 820.1 to 1700.4 emu/cm3, the remanence magnetization, Mr, values increased from 293 to 817 emu/cm3, and the coercivity, Hc, value also increased from 38 to 107 Oe with the increasing of deposition rate. It is also seen that the magnetic easy axis are in the film plane due to the shape anisotropy. With the increase rotation speed, the values of Ms and Mr increased and the Hc decreased. It was seen that variation of Fe content in the films influences the Ms values and the Hc values are consistent with the surface properties. It was concluded that the deposition rate and the rotation speed of the substrate play a considerable role on the structural and related magnetic properties of the sputtered FeCr thin films, and the properties of the films can be easily controlled by changing production parameters.

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The authors are very grateful to the Selçuk University, Advanced Technology Research & Application Center for the SEM and EDX analysis, and the Karamanoglu Mehmetbey University, Scientific and Technological Researches Application and Research Center for the XRD measurements and the AFM imaging.


This study was financially supported by the Balikesir University, BAP under grant no 2016/149 and also by the State Planning Organization/Turkey under grant no 2005K120170 for Sputtering and VSM systems

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Correspondence to Hakan Köçkar.

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Köçkar, H., Kaplan, N., Karpuz, A. et al. Characterizations of Binary FeCr (AISI 430) Thin Films Deposited from a Single Magnetron Sputtering Under Easy Controllable Deposition Parameters. J Supercond Nov Magn 32, 2457–2465 (2019).

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  • FeCr thin films
  • AISI 430
  • Deposition rate
  • Rotation speed
  • Magnetic properties
  • Structural properties
  • dc sputtering technique