Friction behaviour of TiA1N films around cubic/hexagonal transition : A 2D grazing incidence X-ray diffraction and electron energy loss spectroscopy study. / Pinot, Y.; Pac, M. -J.; Henry, P.; Rousselot, C.; Odarchenko, Yaroslav; Ivanov, D. A.; Ulhaq-Bouillet, C.; Ersen, O.; Tuilier, M. -H.

In: THIN SOLID FILMS, Vol. 577, 27.02.2015, p. 74-81.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Y. Pinot
  • M. -J. Pac
  • P. Henry
  • C. Rousselot
  • Yaroslav Odarchenko
  • D. A. Ivanov
  • C. Ulhaq-Bouillet
  • O. Ersen
  • M. -H. Tuilier


The properties at different scales of Ti1-xAlxN films deposited by reactive magnetron sputtering from TiAl sintered (S) targets produced by powder metallurgy are compared with those of a set of films previously deposited in the same conditions from mosaic targets (M) made of pure Ti and Al metals. For compositions close to the hcp/fcc transition (around x = 0.6), the friction behaviour, growth directions and organization of crystallized domains are found to be sensitive to the type of target used. The resistance to crack creation is higher for Ti0.54Al0.46N (S) and Ti0.38Al0.62N (S) than for Ti0.50Al0.50N (M) and Ti0.32Al0.68N (M). From the measurement of mechanical properties, toughness, and wear volumes and from the observation of wear tracks, it is found that films prepared from sintered targets exhibit a better wear resistance. Grazing incidence X-ray diffraction and electron energy loss spectroscopy in Transmission Electronic Microscopy are used to investigate the long- and short-range orders within the films. The morphology of Ti0.54Al0.46N (S) film can be considered as an array of crystalline domains having reciprocal-space vectors 111 and 200 directed along the meridian but with random in-plane orientation. Ti0.38Al0.62N (S) Al-rich film presents a random orientation of the crystalline domains whereas Ti0.32Al0.68N (M) deposited from composite targets exhibits a well-oriented fibrillar structure. The N K-edge Electron Energy Loss Near Edge Spectra are discussed with previous results of Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure Spectroscopy, which has evidenced different values of Al-N and Ti-N bond lengths, either octahedral (cubic-like) or tetrahedral (hexagonal-like) within Ti0.50Al0.50N (M) and Ti0.32Al0.68N (M) films. For similar compositions, films deposited from sintered alloys contain more nitrogen atoms in octahedral cubic-like environment than coatings made from mosaic targets, which could explain their better resistance to cracking, higher hardness and better wear resistance. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-81
Number of pages8
Early online date30 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2015
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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