Special Issue "Thin Film Deposition and Characterization Techniques"

A special issue of Coatings (ISSN 2079-6412).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 December 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Pascal Briois
E-Mail
Guest Editor
FEMTO-ST, UMR CNRS 6174, Rue thierry Mieg 9010 Belfort, France
Tel. + 33-384-583-701
Interests: physical vapor deposition; fuel cell; catalytic properties

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The aim of this Special Issue is to promote different thin film technologies for energy and environmental applications. Indeed, today, technological systems are becoming miniaturized and, therefore, surface treatments find a certain interest in various fields, such as electrochemistry, catalysis, and optics. Each article presented in this issue should include a part elaboration using thin film techniques and a dedicated part for the characterization of the films.

In particular, the topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Fuel cells materials electrolyte, anode, cathode and/or complete cell,
  • Gas sensors,
  • Catalysis,
  • Transparents conductive oxides

Prof. Dr. Pascal Briois
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Coatings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Characterization of HfO2 Optical Coatings Deposited by MF Magnetron Sputtering
Coatings 2019, 9(2), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9020106 - 08 Feb 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The aim of this work is to determine the influence of medium frequency magnetron sputtering powers on the various properties of hafnium dioxide (HfO2) thin films. Microstructure observations show that an increase in the sputtering power has a significant influence on [...] Read more.
The aim of this work is to determine the influence of medium frequency magnetron sputtering powers on the various properties of hafnium dioxide (HfO2) thin films. Microstructure observations show that an increase in the sputtering power has a significant influence on HfO2 films’ microstructure. As-deposited hafnia thin films exhibit nanocrystalline structure with a monoclinic phase, however the rise of the sputtering power results in an increase of crystallite sizes. Atomic force microscopy investigations show that the surface of the deposited films is smooth, crack-free, and composed of visible grains. The surface roughness and the value of the water contact angle increase with the increase of the sputtering power. Measurements of the optical properties show that HfO2 coatings are transparent in the visible wavelength range. A higher sputtering power causes a decrease of an average transmittance level and a simultaneous increase of the real part of the refractive index. Nanoindentation measurements reveal that the thin film hardness and Young’s elastic modulus increase with an increase in the sputtering power. Moreover, the results of plasticity index H/E and plastic resistance parameter H3/E2 are discussed. Based on the obtained results, a correlation between the sputtering power and the structural, surface, and optical properties, as well as the hardness and Young’s elastic modulus, were determined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Deposition and Characterization Techniques)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of the Molybdenum Substrate Shape on Mo2C Coating Electrodeposition
Coatings 2018, 8(12), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings8120442 - 03 Dec 2018
Abstract
By electrochemical synthesis in the NaCl-KCl-Li2CO3 (1.5 wt.%)-Na2MoO4 (8.0 wt.%) melt on molybdenum, substrates with different configuration Mo2C coatings with the hexagonal lattice were obtained. The influence of the substrate form on the structure of [...] Read more.
By electrochemical synthesis in the NaCl-KCl-Li2CO3 (1.5 wt.%)-Na2MoO4 (8.0 wt.%) melt on molybdenum, substrates with different configuration Mo2C coatings with the hexagonal lattice were obtained. The influence of the substrate form on the structure of Mo2C cathodic deposits was studied. The molybdenum carbide coatings on a molybdenum substrate (Mo2C/Mo) show a catalytic activity in the water–gas shift (WGS) reaction by at least three orders of magnitude higher than that of the bulk Mo2C phase. The catalytic activity remained constant during 500 h for the water–gas shift reaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Deposition and Characterization Techniques)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Sputtering Parameters on Structural, Electrical and Thermoelectric Properties of Mg–Si Coatings
Coatings 2018, 8(11), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings8110380 - 25 Oct 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Mg–Si thin films (23 ≤ at.% Si ≤ 43) were deposited by co-sputtering of Mg and Si targets in an argon atmosphere. Two groups of samples were prepared with respect to sputtering parameters. The first Group I was synthesized while residual pressure in [...] Read more.
Mg–Si thin films (23 ≤ at.% Si ≤ 43) were deposited by co-sputtering of Mg and Si targets in an argon atmosphere. Two groups of samples were prepared with respect to sputtering parameters. The first Group I was synthesized while residual pressure in the reactor was lower than 7 × 10−4 Pa and the second Group II when reactor was pumped down to pressure higher than 7 × 10−4 Pa. The Mg2Si phase appeared for all as-deposited films of Group I around the stoichiometric composition region (29 ≤ at.% Si ≤ 37) and in the Mg-rich region (at.% Si < 29) the Mg2Si and Mg phases coexisted. An amorphous structure was obtained for all as-deposited films of Group II no matter their composition (34 ≤ at.% Si ≤ 38) and the Mg2Si structure was achieved after post annealing under air at temperature ≥140 °C. Thermal stability of Mg2Si thin films was investigated by annealing treatments under air. Superficial Mg2Si structural decomposition began at T > 500 °C and layer morphology and structure damaged while annealing temperature increased up to 700 °C. The films’ electrical resistivity, free carrier concentration and mobility as well as Seebeck coefficient were measured and thermoelectric power factors were discussed vs. composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Deposition and Characterization Techniques)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Air Exposure on Hard and Soft X-ray Photoemission Spectra of Ultrananocrystalline Diamond/Amorphous Carbon Composite Films
Coatings 2018, 8(10), 359; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings8100359 - 09 Oct 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Hard X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (HAXPES) was employed for the structural evaluation of ultrananocrystalline diamond/amorphous carbon (UNCD/a-C) composite films deposited on cemented carbide substrates, at substrate temperatures up to 550 °C by coaxial arc plasma deposition. The results were compared with those of soft [...] Read more.
Hard X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (HAXPES) was employed for the structural evaluation of ultrananocrystalline diamond/amorphous carbon (UNCD/a-C) composite films deposited on cemented carbide substrates, at substrate temperatures up to 550 °C by coaxial arc plasma deposition. The results were compared with those of soft X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (SXPES). Since nanocrystalline diamond grains are easily destroyed by argon ion bombardment, the structural evaluation of UNCD/a-C films, without the argon ion bombardment, is preferable for precise evaluation. For samples that were preserved in a vacuum box after film preparation, the sp3 fraction estimated from HAXPES is in good agreement with that of SXPES. The substrate temperature dependencies also exhibited good correspondence with that of hardness and Young’s modulus of the films. On the other hand, the sp3 fraction estimated from SXPES for samples that were not preserved in the vacuum box had an apparent deviation from those of HAXPES. Since it is possible for HAXPES to precisely estimate the sp3 fraction without the ion bombardment treatment, HAXPES is a feasible method for UNCD/a-C films, comprising nanocrystalline diamond grains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Deposition and Characterization Techniques)
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Open AccessArticle
Ta–Zr–N Thin Films Fabricated through HIPIMS/RFMS Co-Sputtering
Coatings 2017, 7(11), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings7110189 - 04 Nov 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
Ta–Zr–N thin films were fabricated through co-deposition of radio-frequency magnetron sputtering and high-power impulse magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS/RFMS co-sputtering). The oxidation resistance of the fabricated films was evaluated by annealing the samples in a 15-ppm O2-N2 atmosphere at 600 °C for [...] Read more.
Ta–Zr–N thin films were fabricated through co-deposition of radio-frequency magnetron sputtering and high-power impulse magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS/RFMS co-sputtering). The oxidation resistance of the fabricated films was evaluated by annealing the samples in a 15-ppm O2-N2 atmosphere at 600 °C for 4 and 8 h. The mechanical properties and surface roughness of the as-deposited and annealed thin films were evaluated. The results indicated that the HIPIMS/RFMS co-sputtered Ta–Zr–N thin films exhibited superior mechanical properties and lower surface roughness than did the conventional direct current-sputtered Ta–Zr–N thin films and HIPIMS-fabricated ZrNx thin films in both the as-deposited and annealed states. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Deposition and Characterization Techniques)
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Open AccessArticle
A Comparative Study on the Elastic Characteristics of an Aluminum Thin-Film Using Laser Optical Measurement Techniques
Coatings 2017, 7(9), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings7090143 - 10 Sep 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
The increase of a surface area-to-volume ratio with the reduction of material dimensions significantly alters the characteristics of materials from their macroscopic status. Therefore, efforts have been made to establish evaluation techniques for nanoscale films. While contact mechanics-based techniques are conventionally available, non-contact [...] Read more.
The increase of a surface area-to-volume ratio with the reduction of material dimensions significantly alters the characteristics of materials from their macroscopic status. Therefore, efforts have been made to establish evaluation techniques for nanoscale films. While contact mechanics-based techniques are conventionally available, non-contact and nondestructive methods would be preferable in case damages left on a sample after testing are not desirable, or an in situ assessment is required. In the present study, the Young’s modulus of an aluminum thin-film was evaluated using two different laser optical measurement techniques. First, microscale beam testing has been performed so that the resonant frequency change of a microfabricated cantilever beam induced by coating of a 153 nm thick aluminum layer on its top surface can be detected using a laser interferometer in order to evaluate the mechanical property through modal analysis using the finite element method. Second, picosecond ultrasonics were employed for cross-verification so that the mechanical characteristics can be evaluated through the investigation of the longitudinal bulk wave propagation behavior. Results show that the Young’s moduli from both measurements agree well with each other within 3.3% error, proving that the proposed techniques are highly effective for the study of nanoscale films. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Deposition and Characterization Techniques)
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Open AccessArticle
Electrodeposition of Vanadium Oxides at Room Temperature as Cathodes in Lithium-Ion Batteries
Coatings 2017, 7(7), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings7070100 - 12 Jul 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Electrodeposition of vanadium pentoxide coatings was performed at room temperature and a short growth period of 15 min based on an alkaline solution of methanol and vanadyl (III) acetyl acetonate. All samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, field-emission scanning electron microscopy, [...] Read more.
Electrodeposition of vanadium pentoxide coatings was performed at room temperature and a short growth period of 15 min based on an alkaline solution of methanol and vanadyl (III) acetyl acetonate. All samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, field-emission scanning electron microscopy, cyclic voltammetry, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The current density and electrolyte concentration were found to affect the characteristics of the as-grown coatings presenting enhanced crystallinity and porous structure at the highest values employed in both cases. The as-grown vanadium pentoxide at current density of 1.3 mA·cm−2 and electrolyte concentration of 0.5 M indicated the easiest charge transfer of Li+ across the vanadium pentoxide/electrolyte interface presenting a specific discharge capacity of 417 mAh·g−1, excellent capacitance retention of 95%, and coulombic efficiency of 94% after 1000 continuous Li+ intercalation/deintercalation scans. One may then suggest that this route is promising to prepare large area vanadium pentoxide electrodes with excellent stability and efficiency at very mild conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Deposition and Characterization Techniques)
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