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J Microsc. 2006 Sep;223(Pt 3):237-9.

Advances and problems with TEM characterization of Cr/CrN multilayer coatings.

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  • 1Institute of Metallurgy and Materials Science PAS, Cracow, Poland.


Multilayer Cr/CrN/Cr/Cr(N,C) and Cr/CrN with 8 and 32 layer coatings were deposited on austenite substrates using pulsed laser deposition (PLD) technique. The microstructure observations were performed using Philips CM20trade mark, TECNAI G(2) F20 - TWINtrade mark and JEOL EX4000trade mark transmission microscopes. The performed experiments indicated that lowering the argon flow from 60 to 30 cm(3)/s during chromium ablation changes buffer layers microstructure from nearly amorphous to nano-crystalline. The nitride or carbo-nitride layers turned out to be less sensitive to changes in nitrogen flow during deposition. The columnar microstructure of Cr layers is coarser than those in CrN ones under the same deposition condition. This observation proved also that relying on PLD technique as thin as 30 nm layers might be formed within multilayer Cr/CrN coatings.

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