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The β to α phase transition of tantalum coatings deposited by modulated pulsed power magnetron sputtering

Myers, Sterling; Jianliang, Lin; Souza, Roberto Martins de; Sproul, Willian D; Moore, John J
Fonte: Lausanne Publicador: Lausanne
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
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Tantalum coatings are of particular interest today as promising candidates to replace potentially hazardous electrodeposited chromium coatings for tribological and corrosion resistant applications, such as the internal lining on large-caliber gun barrels. Tantalum coatings have two crystalline phases, α-Ta (body-centered-cubic) and β-Ta (metastable tetragonal) that exhibit relatively different properties. Alpha-Ta is typically preferred for wear and corrosion resistant applications and unfortunately, is very difficult to deposit without the assistance of substrate heating or post-annealing treatments. Furthermore, there is no general consensus on the mechanism which causes α or β to form or if there is a phase transition or transformation from β → α during coating deposition. In this study, modulated pulsed power (MPP) magnetron sputtering was used to deposit tantalum coatings with thicknesses between 2 and 20 μm without external substrate heating. The MPP Ta coatings showed good adhesion and low residual stress. This study shows there is an abrupt β → α phase transition when the coating is 5–7 μm thick and not a total phase transformation. Thermocouple measurements reveal substrate temperature increases as a function of deposition time until reaching a saturation temperature of ~ 388 °C. The importance of substrate temperature evolution on the β → α phase transition is also explained.