Elemental Distribution in CrNbTaTiW-C High Entropy Alloy Thin Films
Journal article, 2019
The microstructure and distribution of the elements have been studied in thin films of a near-equimolar CrNbTaTiW high entropy alloy (HEA) and films with 8 at.% carbon added to the alloy. The films were deposited by magnetron sputtering at 300°C. X-ray diffraction shows that the near-equimolar metallic film crystallizes in a single-phase body centered cubic (bcc) structure with a strong (110) texture. However, more detailed analyses with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atom probe tomography (APT) show a strong segregation of Ti to the grain boundaries forming a very thin Ti-Cr rich interfacial layer. The effect can be explained by the large negative formation enthalpy of Ti-Cr compounds and shows that CrNbTaTiW is not a true HEA at lower temperatures. The addition of 8 at.% carbon leads to the formation of an amorphous structure, which can be explained by the limited solubility of carbon in bcc alloys. TEM energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy indicated that all metallic elements are randomly distributed in the film. The APT investigation, however, revealed that carbide-like clusters are present in the amorphous film.
high entropy alloy
atom probe tomography