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Open AccessArticle

X-ray Diffraction Investigation of Stainless Steel—Nitrogen Thin Films Deposited Using Reactive Sputter Deposition

1
Physics Department, University of New Hampshire, 9 Library Way, Durham, NH 03824, USA
2
Department of Physics, College of Science, Qassim University, Buraidah 51452, Saudi Arabia
3
Mechanical Engineering Department and Materials Science Program, University of New Hampshire, 33 Academic Way, Durham, NH 03824, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2020, 10(10), 984; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10100984
Received: 15 September 2020 / Revised: 9 October 2020 / Accepted: 12 October 2020 / Published: 15 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structure and Phase Transformations in Thin Films)
An X-ray diffraction investigation was carried out on nitrogen-containing 304 stainless steel thin films deposited by reactive rf magnetron sputtering over a range of substrate temperature and bias levels. The resulting films contained between ~28 and 32 at.% nitrogen. X-ray analysis was carried out using both the standard Bragg-Brentano method as well as area-detector diffractometry analysis. The extent of the diffraction anomaly ((002) peak shift) was determined using a calculated parameter, denoted RB, which is based on the (111) and (002) peak positions. The normal value for RB for FCC-based structures is 0.75 but increases as the (002) peak is anomalously displaced closer to the (111) peak. In this study, the RB values for the deposited films were found to increase with substrate bias but decrease with substrate temperature (but still always >0.75). Using area detector diffractometry, we were able to measure d111/d002 values for similarly oriented grains within the films, and using these values calculate c/a ratios based on a tetragonal-structure model. These results allowed prediction of the (002)/(200) peak split for tetragonal structures. Despite predicting a reasonably accessible split (~0.6°–2.9°–2θ), no peak splitting observed, negating the tetragonal-structure hypothesis. Based on the effects of film bias/temperature on RB values, a defect-based hypothesis is more viable as an explanation for the diffraction anomaly. View Full-Text
Keywords: sputter deposition; thin films; X-ray diffraction; expanded austenite sputter deposition; thin films; X-ray diffraction; expanded austenite
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MDPI and ACS Style

Alresheedi, F.I.; Krzanowski, J.E. X-ray Diffraction Investigation of Stainless Steel—Nitrogen Thin Films Deposited Using Reactive Sputter Deposition. Coatings 2020, 10, 984.

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