• Vipin Chawla

      Articles written in Bulletin of Materials Science

    • Microstructural characteristics and mechanical properties of magnetron sputtered nanocrystalline TiN films on glass substrate

      Vipin Chawla R Jayaganthan Ramesh Chandra

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      Nanocrystalline TiN thin films were deposited on glass substrate by d.c. magnetron sputtering. The microstructural characteristics of the thin films were characterized by XRD, FE-SEM and AFM. XRD analysis of the thin films, with increasing thickness, showed the (200) preferred orientation up to 1.26 𝜇m thickness and then it transformed into (220) and (200) peaks with further increase in thickness up to 2.83 𝜇m. The variation in preferred orientation was due to the competition between surface energy and strain energy during film growth. The deposited films were found to be very dense nanocrystalline film with less porosity as evident from their FE-SEM and AFM images. The surface roughness of the TiN films has increased slightly with the film thickness as observed from its AFM images. The mechanical properties of TiN films such as hardness and modulus of elasticity (𝐸) were investigated by nanoindentation technique. The hardness of TiN thin film was found to be thickness dependent. The highest hardness value (24 GPa) was observed for the TiN thin films with less positive micro strain.

    • Microstructural characterizations and hardness evaluation of d.c. reactive magnetron sputtered CrN thin films on stainless steel substrate

      Hetal N Shah Vipin Chawla R Jayaganthan Davinder Kaur

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      Chromium nitride (CrN) thin films were deposited on stainless steel (grade: SA304) substrate by using d.c. reactive magnetron sputtering and the influence of process parameters such as substrate temperature, pressure, and power on their microstructural characteristics were investigated in the present work. The CrN films were characterized with X-ray diffraction (XRD) to reveal the formation of different phases and its texture. The films showed the (111) preferred orientation but its intensity decreased, while intensity of peak (200) increased with increase in working pressure. The mixture of CrN and Cr2N phases were identified at low working pressure and temperature. The preferred orientations of CrN thin films are strongly influenced by sputtering conditions, thickness, and the induced residual stress in the films as observed in the present work. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) were used to characterize the morphology and surface topography of thin films, respectively. The study shows that the hardness of films strongly depends on the grain size and the film density, which are influenced by combined effect of the working pressure, temperature, and power of the sputtering process.

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