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Suberhard NbB2-x thin films deposited by dc magnetron sputtering
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Chemistry, Department of Chemistry - Ångström.
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2014 (English)In: Surface & Coatings Technology, ISSN 0257-8972, E-ISSN 1879-3347, Vol. 257, 295-300 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We have deposited weakly textured substoichiometric NbB2 −x thin films by magnetron sputtering from an NbB2 target. The films exhibit superhardness (42 ± 4 GPa), previously only observed in overstoichiometric TiB2 thin films, and explained by a self-organized nanostructuring, where thin TiB2 columnar grains hinder nucleation and slip of dislocations and a B-rich tissue phase between the grains prevent grain-boundary sliding. The wide homogeneity range for the NbB2 phase allows a similar ultra-thin B-rich tissue phase to form between thin (5–10 nm) columnar NbB2 −x grains also for films with a B/Nb atomic ratio of 1.8, as revealed here by analytical aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy. Furthermore, a coefficient of friction of 0.16 is measured for an NbB2 −x film sliding against stainless steel with a wear rate of 5 × 10− 7 mm3/Nm. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results suggest that the low friction is due to the formation of a lubricating boric acid film.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 257, 295-300 p.
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Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-240710DOI: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2014.07.087OAI: diva2:776977
Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2015-01-08 Last updated: 2015-01-13Bibliographically approved

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Jansson, Ulf
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Department of Chemistry - ÅngströmInorganic Chemistry
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