Decomposition pathways in nano-lamellar CVD Ti0.2Al0.8N
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2023

Recent progress in chemical vapour deposition (CVD) technology has enabled synthesis of metastable cubic Ti1−xAlxN coatings with x as high as 0.8–0.9. These coatings have unique micro- and nano-structures consisting of grains with epitaxially grown nanolamellae with different Al/Ti ratios, and exhibit exceptional hardness and resistance to wear and oxidation. Here, the thermal stability and decomposition of nano-lamellar CVD Ti0.2Al0.8N at temperatures between 800 and 1000 °C have been investigated using a combination of cross-sectional transmission X-ray nano-diffraction and scanning transmission electron microscopy. The decomposition started by formation of hexagonal AlN (h-AlN) in the grain boundaries throughout the coating. Below 900 °C, only limited further decomposition of the grain interiors occurred. At higher temperatures the formation of grain boundary h-AlN was followed by a bulk transformation of the nano-lamellar structure, starting at the top of the coating and subsequently sweeping inwards. The bulk transformation occurred initially through spinodal decomposition, followed by transformation of the Al-rich cubic phase to h-AlN, leading to a coarsened structure with Ti-rich domains in a h-AlN matrix. The behaviour is explained by the higher capability of grain boundaries and free surfaces to accommodate the volumetric expansion from the h-AlN formation. The results increase our understanding of the complicated decomposition processes in these metastable cubic coatings, which are of utmost importance from both technological and scientific perspectives.

Phase stability

Phase separation


Chemical vapour deposition (CVD)



Olof Bäcke

Chalmers, Fysik, Mikrostrukturfysik

Sebastian Kalbfleisch

Max IV-laboratoriet

Dirk Stiens

Walter AG

Thorsten Manns

Walter AG

Anton Davydok


Mats Halvarsson

Chalmers, Fysik, Mikrostrukturfysik

Magnus Hörnqvist Colliander

Chalmers, Fysik, Mikrostrukturfysik


25891529 (eISSN)

Vol. 30 101833

CVD 2.0 - En ny generation av hårda beläggningar

Stiftelsen för Strategisk forskning (SSF) (RMA15-0048), 2016-05-01 -- 2021-06-30.


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