Multifunctional nanostructured Ti-Si-C thin films
Sammanfattning: In this Thesis, I have investigated multifunctional nanostructured Ti-Si-C thin films synthesized by magnetron sputtering in the substrate-temperature range from room temperature to 900 °C. The studies cover high-temperature growth of Ti3SiC2 and Ti4SiC3, low-temperature growth of Ti-Si-C nanocomposites, and Ti-Si-C-based multi¬layers, as well as their electrical, mechanical, and thermal-stability properties. Ti3SiC2 and Ti4SiC3 were synthesized homoepitaxially onto bulk Ti3SiC2 from individual sputtering targets and heteroepitaxially onto Al2O3(0001) substrates from a Ti3SiC2 target at substrate temperatures of 700 – 900 °C. In the latter case, the film composition exhibits excess C compared to the nominal target composition due to differences between species in angular and energy distribution and gas-phase scattering processes. Ti buffering is shown to compensate for this excess C. The electrical-resistivity values of Ti3SiC2 and Ti4SiC3 thin films were measured to 21-32 uOhmcm and ~50 uOhmcm, respectively. The good conductivity is because the presence of Si layers enhances the relative strength of the metallic Ti-Ti bonds. The higher density of Si layers in Ti3SiC2 than in Ti4SiC3 explains why Ti3SiC2 is the better conductor of the two. Ti3SiC2 thin films are shown to be thermally stable up to 1000 – 1100 °C. Annealing at higher temperature results in decomposition of Ti3SiC2 by Si out-diffusion to the surface with subsequent evaporation. Above 1200 °C, TiCx layers recrystallized. Nanocomposites comprising nanocrystalline (nc-)TiC in an amorphous (a-)SiC matrix phase were deposited at substrate temperatures in the range 100 – 300 °C. These nc-TiC/a-SiC films exhibit low contact resistance in electrical contacts and a ductile deformation behavior due to rotation and gliding of nc-TiC grains in the matrix. The ductile mechanical properties of nc-TiC/a-SiC are actually more similar to those of Ti3SiC2, which is very ductile due to kinking and delamination, than to those of the brittle TiC. Epitaxial TiC/SiC multilayers deposited at ~550 °C were shown to contain cubic SiC layers up to a thickness of ~2 nm. Thicker SiC layers gives a-SiC due to the corresponding increase in interfacial strain energy leading to loss of coherent-layer growth. Nanoindentation of epitaxial Ti3SiC2/TiC0.67 nanolaminates showed inhibition of kink-band formation in Ti3SiC2, as the lamination with the less ductile TiC effectively hindered this mechanism.
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