Surface Mechanical Properties of Multilayered Zr/ZrN and ZrN/ZrCN thin films synthesized using Physical Vapor Deposition

Project: Research

Project Details


The idea of the present proposal originated from project (No. SB181002) funded by the Deanship of Research, KFUPM. The project, which is currently in progress, deals with the evaluation of nanoindentation behavior of single layered Zr-based coatings. Initial experimental results from SB181002 indicate that magnetron sputter deposition is an effective technique to synthesize sound single layered Zr-based hard coatings. Based on these encouraging results, it was termed prudent to extend the range of synthesis into multilayered Zr, ZrN and ZrCN thin films. It is generally believed that multilayered thin films offer improved engineering properties compared to single layered films. The present work proposes to synthesize such multilayered thin films/coatings and evaluate their constitution, structure and surface mechanical properties using various techniques. The experimental results obtained from the current project SB181002 and the skills garnered to design and produce Zr coatings will form the basis for initiation of the proposed work. It is envisaged that the proposed work will build upon the success achieved in the synthesis of single layered hard coatings and serve to further improve the properties of the coatings system under study. In the proposed study, multilayered Zr/ZrN and ZrN/ZrCN thin films will be developed using a physical vapor deposition technique such as magnetron sputter deposition. A range of techniques including scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction will be used to examine the constitution, morphology and structure of thin films. Surface mechanical properties such as nanoindentation hardness, modulus and creep of multilayered films will be measured using nanoindentation technique. A comparison of the properties of single and multilayered films will be undertaken. The data for single layered coatings will be available through project no. SB181002. The correlation between penetration depth and indentation load will be drawn. Load-displacement curves will be obtained and the dependence of hardness and elastic modulus on the depth of penetration will be studied. The change in indentation hardness as a function of normal load will be evaluated. Effect of indentation load on the change in nanohardness will be examined. Nanoindentation creep data will be generated for all samples. Effect of layered structure, carbon addition, and film thickness will be evaluated. It is believed that application of nanoindentation technique for the evaluation of multilayered thin films will lead to improved thin film constitution, design and structure, which in turn can result in better tribological performance in oil and gas, petrochemical, advanced electronics and water desalination industry of the Kingdom. This study is proposed to be completed at the King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals within a period of 18 months at a total cost of 100,000 Saudi Riyals.
Effective start/end date1/04/201/10/21


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