R. Franz, J. Schnöller, H. Hutter, C. Mitterer:
"Oxidation and diffusion study on AlCrVN hard coatings using oxygen isotopes 16O and 18O";
Thin Solid Films,
The present work aims to investigate the oxidation behaviour of AlCrVN hard coatings of equal composition
but of different crystal structure. In order to gain more information about the mechanisms that are active
during oxidation, a two-stage oxidation procedure has been applied where different isotopes, 16O and 18O,
were introduced in each step. The analysis by means of secondary ion mass spectrometry depth profiling with
its inherent isotope selectivity provided information on the general oxidation behaviour as well as the oxygen
diffusion during the oxidation process. The single-phase coating with its face-centred cubic (fcc) structure
presents a higher oxidation resistance as compared to the dual-phase coating containing a wurtzite and an fcc
phase. After the annealing treatment the surface of the latter is entirely covered by VO2 and V2O5 as evidenced
by Raman spectroscopy. The single-phase coating, on the other hand, reveals unoxidised coating material and
AlVO4 crystals. However, even though exhibiting a significantly different oxidation resistance, the oxygen
diffusion is similar. In both cases the peak values of 18O, which was introduced in the second stage, were found
near the oxide-nitride interface indicating that O atoms diffused through the already formed oxides.
Additional experiments using a gas mixture comprising natural water vapour H216O and 18O2 revealed that
mainly the presence of molecular oxygen causes oxidation as with increasing water vapour partial pressure
the oxide layer thickness was significantly reduced.
TOF-SIMS, Depth profiling, AlCrVN, Hard coatings, Diffusion, Isotopic enriched oxygen
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