1.      Influence of nitrogen addition during r.f. magnetron sputter-deposition on the properties of Cr-Zr-O-N thin films

Thin films of Cr-Zr-O and Cr-Zr-O-N were synthesised by reactive r.f. magnetron sputtering in an argon-oxygen or argon-oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere respectively in a Leybold Z 550 PVD coating machine. During all sputtering processes a substrate temperature of maximum 500 °C was applied. Following a combinatorial approach, thin films with five different elemental compositions from Cr-rich to Zr-rich could be obtained in one deposition process by using a segmented Cr-Zr target.

The impact of nitrogen addition during the sputtering process on the microstructure and selected properties of nanocrystalline Cr-Zr-O thin films was analysedWe focus on the comparison of solid solution corundum type Cr-Zr-O films and impact of N on their growth behaviour, phase formation and phase .... The elemental composition was determined by Electron Probe Micro-Analysis (EPMA). The evolution of the microstructure and phase formation has been studied by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Additionally, classical Vickers microhardness was determined.