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Open AccessArticle

Synthesis of Intermetallic (Mg1−x,Alx)2Ca by Combinatorial Sputtering

Materials Chemistry, RWTH Aachen University, Kopernikusstr. 10, 52074 Aachen, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2019, 12(18), 3026;
Received: 22 August 2019 / Revised: 13 September 2019 / Accepted: 16 September 2019 / Published: 18 September 2019
The synthesis–composition–structure relationship in the Mg–Ca–Al system is studied using combinatorial magnetron sputtering. With increasing deposition temperature, a drastic decrease in Mg concentration is obtained. This behavior can be understood based on density functional theory calculations yielding a desorption energy of 1.9 eV/atom for Mg from a hexagonal Mg nanocluster which is far below the desorption energy of Mg from a Mg2Ca nanocluster (3.4 eV/atom) implying desorption of excess Mg during thin film growth at elevated temperatures. Correlative structural and chemical analysis of binary Mg–Ca thin films suggests the formation of hexagonal Mg2Ca (C14 Laves phase) in a wide Mg/Ca range from 1.7 to 2.2, expanding the to date reported stoichiometry range. Pronounced thermally-induced desorption of Mg is utilized to synthesize stoichiometric (Mg1−x,Alx)2Ca thin films by additional co-sputtering of elemental Al, exhibiting a higher desorption energy (6.7 eV/atom) compared to Mg (3.4 eV/atom) from Mg2Ca, which governs its preferred incorporation during synthesis. X-ray diffraction investigations along the chemical gradient suggest the formation of intermetallic C14 (Mg1–x,Alx)2Ca with a critical aluminum concentration of up to 23 at.%. The introduced synthesis strategy, based on the thermally-induced desorption of weakly bonded species, and the preferential incorporation of strongly bonded species, may also be useful for solubility studies of other phases within this ternary system as well as for other intermetallics with weakly bonded alloying constituents. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical vapor deposition; desorption; combinatorial sputtering; intermetallics; magnesium; density functional theory physical vapor deposition; desorption; combinatorial sputtering; intermetallics; magnesium; density functional theory
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MDPI and ACS Style

Keuter, P.; Karimi Aghda, S.; Music, D.; Kümmerl, P.; Schneider, J.M. Synthesis of Intermetallic (Mg1−x,Alx)2Ca by Combinatorial Sputtering. Materials 2019, 12, 3026.

AMA Style

Keuter P, Karimi Aghda S, Music D, Kümmerl P, Schneider JM. Synthesis of Intermetallic (Mg1−x,Alx)2Ca by Combinatorial Sputtering. Materials. 2019; 12(18):3026.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Keuter, Philipp; Karimi Aghda, Soheil; Music, Denis; Kümmerl, Pauline; Schneider, Jochen M. 2019. "Synthesis of Intermetallic (Mg1−x,Alx)2Ca by Combinatorial Sputtering" Materials 12, no. 18: 3026.

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