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Effect of the metal concentration on the structural, mechanical and tribological properties of self-organized a-C:Cu hard nanocomposite coatings

AutorPardo, Ainhoa ; Buijnsters, J. G. ; Endrino, José Luis ; Gómez-Aleixandre, C. ; Abrasonis, G.; Bonet, Raúl; Caro, Jaume
Palabras claveAmorphous carbon
Pulsed filtered cathodic vacuum arc deposition
Mechanical properties
Tribological properties
Multilayered a-C:Cu nanocomposite
Fecha de publicación2013
CitaciónApplied Surface Science 280: 791-798 (2013)
ResumenThe influence of the metal content (Cu: 0-28 at.%) on the structural, mechanical and tribological properties of amorphous carbon films grown by pulsed filtered cathodic vacuum arc deposition is investigated. Silicon and AISI 301 stainless steel have been used as substrate materials. The microstructure, composition and bonding structure have been determined by scanning electron microscopy, combined Rutherford backscattered spectroscopy-nuclear reaction analysis, and Raman spectroscopy, respectively. The mechanical and tribological properties have been assessed using nanoindentation and reciprocating sliding (fretting tests) and these have been correlated with the elemental composition of the films. A self-organized multilayered structure consisting of alternating carbon and copper metal nanolayers (thickness in the 25-50 nm range), whose formation is enhanced by the Cu content, is detected. The nanohardness and Young's modulus decrease monotonically with increasing Cu content. A maximum value of the Young's modulus of about 255 GPa is obtained for the metal-free film, whereas it drops to about 174 GPa for the film with a Cu content of 28 at.%. In parallel, a 50% drop in the nanohardness from about 28 GPa towards 14 GPa is observed for these coatings. An increase in the Cu content also produces an increment of the coefficient of friction in reciprocating sliding tests performed against a corundum ball counterbody. As compared to the metal free film, a nearly four times higher coefficient of friction value is detected in the case of a Cu content of 28 at.%. Nevertheless, the carbon-copper composite coatings produced a clear surface protection of the substrate despite an overall increase in wear loss with increasing Cu content in the range 3-28 at.%. ©2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apsusc.2013.05.063
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2013.05.063
issn: 0169-4332
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