Nanocomposite versus solid solution formation in the TiSiN system

Nina Schalk, Yvonne Moritz, Ganesh Kumar Nayak, David Holec, C. Hugenschmidt, V.V. Burwitz, L. Mathes, Maximilian Schiester, Christian Saringer, Christoph Czettl, Markus Pohler, Christian Mitterer, Michael Tkadletz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This work contributes to the ongoing scientific debate on the structure of TiSiN coatings. In order to illuminate the formation of a nanocomposite structure versus the formation of a Ti 1-xSi xN solid solution, a series of TiSiN coatings was synthesized and the influence of varying N 2 pressures and the addition of Ar to the deposition atmosphere on the structure of TiSiN coatings was investigated in detail. The powdered TiSiN coatings all exhibited a lower lattice parameter than reported for TiN, which further decreased with increasing N 2 pressure, at comparable elemental compositions. For all coatings the presence of a crystalline Ti 1-xSi xN solid solution as well as an amorphous SiN x phase fraction could be detected, where more Si was incorporated into the Ti 1-xSi xN solid solution at higher pressures, due to less energetic growth conditions and the additional kinetic activation stemming from Ar ions resulted in less Si incorporation. Density functional theory calculations showed that defects only play a subordinate role for the low observed lattice parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120063
Number of pages10
JournalActa materialia
Issue number15 August
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 May 2024

Bibliographical note

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  • Atom probe tomography
  • Coatings
  • Microstructure
  • Nanocomposite
  • Solid solution
  • TiSiN
  • X-ray diffraction

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