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The Effect of Cathodic Arc Guiding Magnetic Field on the Growth of (Ti0.36Al0.64)N Coatings

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Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden
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Department of Materials Science and Engineering, D3.3 Saarland University, D-66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
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Seco Tools AB, SE-737 82 Fagersta, Sweden
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Institute Jean Lamour, Campus ARTEM, University of Lorraine, CNRS, F-54011 Nancy, France
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Sandvik Coromant, SE-126 80 Stockholm, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2019, 9(10), 660; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9100660
Received: 11 September 2019 / Revised: 1 October 2019 / Accepted: 10 October 2019 / Published: 12 October 2019
We use a modified cathodic arc deposition technique, including an electromagnetic coil that introduces a magnetic field in the vicinity of the source, to study its influence on the growth of (Ti0.36Al0.64)N coatings. By increasing the strength of the magnetic field produced by the coil, the cathode arc spots are steered toward the edge of the cathode, and the electrons are guided to an annular anode surrounding the cathode. As a result, the plasma density between the cathode and substrate decreased, which was observed as a lateral spread of the plasma plume, and a reduction of the deposition rate. Optical emission spectroscopy shows reduced intensities of all recorded plasma species when the magnetic field is increased due to a lower number of collisions resulting in excitation. We note a charge-to-mass ratio decrease of 12% when the magnetic field is increased, which is likely caused by a reduced degree of gas phase ionization, mainly through a decrease in N2 ionization. (Ti0.36Al0.64)N coatings grown at different plasma densities show considerable variations in grain size and phase composition. Two growth modes were identified, resulting in coatings with (i) a fine-grained glassy cubic and wurtzite phase mixture when deposited with a weak magnetic field, and (ii) a coarse-grained columnar cubic phase with a strong magnetic field. The latter conditions result in lower energy flux to the coating’s growth front, which suppresses surface diffusion and favors the formation of c-(Ti,Al)N solid solutions over phase segregated c-TiN and w-AlN. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical vapor deposition; magnetic field; optical emission spectroscopy; coatings; grain size physical vapor deposition; magnetic field; optical emission spectroscopy; coatings; grain size
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Chaar, A.B.B.; Syed, B.; Hsu, T.-W.; Johansson-Jöesaar, M.; Andersson, J.M.; Henrion, G.; Johnson, L.J.S.; Mücklich, F.; Odén, M. The Effect of Cathodic Arc Guiding Magnetic Field on the Growth of (Ti0.36Al0.64)N Coatings. Coatings 2019, 9, 660.

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