Atomic insights on intermixing of nanoscale nitride multilayer triggered by nanoindentation

Zhuo Chen, Yong Hui Zheng, Lukas Löfler, Matthias Bartosik, Ganesh Kumar Nayak, Oliver Renk, David Holec, Paul Heinz Mayrhofer, Zaoli Zhang

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelForschungBegutachtung

2 Zitate (Scopus)

Abstract

Mechanical properties of nanoscale multilayer coatings are to a large extent governed by the number of interfaces and their characteristics. While for a reduced layer thickness, increasing strength and toughness values have been reported, properties degrade for layer thicknesses of just several nanometers. Here, we report on an entirely overlooked phenomenon occurring during the indentation of nanolayers, presumably explaining the degradation of properties. Nanoindentation, commonly used to determine properties of hard coatings, is found to disrupt and intermix the multilayer structure due to the deformation imposed. Detailed electron microscopy studies and atomistic simulations provide evidence for intermixing in an epitaxial transition metal nitride superlattice thin film induced by nanoindentation. The formation of a solid solution reduces the interfacial density and leads to a sharp drop in the dislocation density. Our results confirm that plastic deformation causes the microstructure instability of nitride multilayer, which may further improve our understanding of multilayer strength mechanisms.

OriginalspracheEnglisch
Aufsatznummer117004
Seitenumfang11
FachzeitschriftActa materialia
Jahrgang214
Ausgabenummer1 August
DOIs
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Aug. 2021

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
The financial support from the China Scholarship Council (CSC, 201608120053) for one of the authors, Z.C. is acknowledged. The authors thank M. Fallmann for the thin film synthesis and the USTEM at TU Wien for the TEM sample preparation. Financial support through Austrian Science Fund (FWF) projects number P30341-N36. (L.L. M.B. and D.H.) and I4059-N36 (G.K.N. and D.H.) are greatly acknowledged. The computational results presented have been achieved in part using the Vienna Scientific Cluster (VSC). This work is supported by FWF P 33696 (Z.Z.).

Funding Information:
The financial support from the China Scholarship Council (CSC, 201608120053) for one of the authors, Z.C., is acknowledged. The authors thank M. Fallmann for the thin film synthesis and the USTEM at TU Wien for the TEM sample preparation. Financial support through Austrian Science Fund (FWF) projects number P30341-N36. (L.L., M.B. and D.H.) and I4059-N36 (G.K.N. and D.H.) are greatly acknowledged. The computational results presented have been achieved in part using the Vienna Scientific Cluster (VSC). This work is supported by FWF P 33696 (Z.Z.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)

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