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# Incipient low-temperature formation of MAX phase in Cr–Al–C films

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Tsinghua University Press

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### Abstract

Ceramic-metallic MAX phase of chromium aluminium carbide ternary compounds was successfully obtained through deposition by DC sputtering onto Si substrates. A study of the influence of substrate temperature and in-air post-annealing on the film crystallinity and oxidation was undertaken. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), wavelength-dispersive X-ray analysis (WDSX), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were used for film characterization. It is shown that, at substrate temperature of about 450 ℃, as-deposited films are amorphous with small nanocrystals. Subsequent annealing in air at 700 ℃ leads to film crystallization and partial oxidation. WDSX spectroscopy shows that the films oxidise to a depth of around 120 nm, or 5% of total film thickness which amounts at around 2.68 µm. As a novelty, this demonstrates the possibility of in-air crystallization of Cr 2AlC films without significant oxidation. Materials Analysis Using Diffraction (MAUD) software package for a full-profile analysis of the XRD patterns (Rietveld-type) was used to determine that, as a result of annealing, the average crystallite size changes from 7 to 34 nm, while microstrain decreases from 0.79% to 0.24%. A slight tendency of preferential growth along the $( 10 1 ¯ 0 )$ direction has been observed. Such texturing of the microstructure has the potential of inducing beneficial anisotropic fracture behaviour in the coatings, potentially interesting for several industrial applications in load-bearing devices.

### Author and article information

###### Journal
Tsinghua University Press (Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China )
2226-4108
05 June 2018
: 07
: 02
: 143-151 (pp. )
###### Affiliations
National Institute for Materials Physics, PO Box MG-7, 077125 Bucharest, Magurele, Romania
###### Author notes
* Corresponding author. E-mail: ocrisan@ 123456infim.ro
###### Article
2226-4108-07-02-143
10.1007/s40145-018-0265-5