In this study, equiatomic Ru–Zr coatings were deposited on Si wafers at 400 °C by using direct current magnetron cosputtering. The plasma focused on the circular track of the substrate holder and the substrate holder rotated at speeds within 1–30 rpm, resulting in cyclical gradient concentration in the growth direction. The nanoindentation hardness levels of the as-deposited Ru–Zr coatings increased as the stacking periods of the cyclical gradient concentration decreased. After the coatings were annealed in a 1% O2
–99% Ar atmosphere at 600 °C for 30 min, the internally oxidized coatings shifted their respective structures to a laminated structure, misaligned laminated structure, and nanocomposite, depending on their stacking periods. The effects of the stacking period of the cyclical gradient concentration on the mechanical properties and structural evolution of the annealed Ru–Zr coatings were investigated in this study.
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