RF sputtering deposition of alternate TiN/ZrN multilayer hard coatings

A. Rizzo, M.A. Signore, M. Penza, M.A. Tagliente, F. De Riccardis, E. Serra

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TiN/ZrN multilayers have been deposited on (100) silicon and glass substrates using a reactive RF magnetron sputtering process. These combined coatings are known to possess high wear resistance and high-grade hardness, good chemical and thermal stability. We have investigated the influence of the bilayer period (Λ) on the morphological and structural properties of the multilayers at a given nitrogen partial pressure and RF power. Nano-indentation test showed that mechanical properties of the coatings varied with the bilayer period. In fact, the indentation depth reaches the minimum when bilayer period Λ was 9 nm; XRD analyses detected a superlattice structure at this Λ value. The individual layers, TiN and ZrN, show (111) or (200) orientation perpendicular to the plane of the film according to the deposition conditions. In order to optimize the structural properties of the superlattice, we stacked nitride layers having different preferential orientations. When both layers grew (111) or (100) texture, superlattice structure showed (111) or (100) preferred orientation, respectively, but in the first case the structure is more ordered, while alternate (111) ZrN/(100) TiN lead to (111) superlattice preferred orientation. Corrosion test in saline ambient showed a higher multilayer corrosion resistance than that of single layers. This result can be attributed to the interface effect providing better resistance to diffusion of saline vapors into the film. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500 - 504
Number of pages5
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number2 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces

Cite this

Rizzo, A., Signore, M. A., Penza, M., Tagliente, M. A., De Riccardis, F., & Serra, E. (2006). RF sputtering deposition of alternate TiN/ZrN multilayer hard coatings. Thin Solid Films, 515(2 SPEC. ISS.), 500 - 504. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsf.2005.12.279