Features of the modification of microstructure and properties for copper-doped titanium nitride coatings
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Features of a defective microstructure and the mechanical properties of titanium nitride coatings having different copper content are investigated by means of transmission electron microscopy, X-ray structural analysis, microhardness measurement, and scratch tests. It is shown that, under a relatively low deposition temperature and ion-induced surface activation during the growth of a TiN-Cu coating, a highly defective single-phase crystalline state of titanium nitride is formed at a copper concentration of up to 12 at %. The noted state is characterized by a scale hierarchy of the lattice fragmentation from sizes of ∼10–15 to 100 nm, high bending-torsion of the crystal lattice (tens of degrees per micron), and a level of local internal stresses from ∼E/40 to ∼E/120 (E is the modulus of elasticity). The revealed high gradients, including those of a dipole character, for the bending-torsion on characteristic scales up to some tens of nanometers can be described within the framework of a model for the continuous distribution of dislocation-disclination ensembles. The effect of the copper content on an increase in the degree of dispersion of the subgrained structure, a decrease in the local bending-torsion of the crystal lattice within subgrains, the level of local internal stresses, and variation of the hardness and strength in scratch tests is revealed.
Keywordsmagnetron deposition titanium nitride effect of copper alloying transmission electron microscopy dislocation-disclination ensembles microhardness scratch tests
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