Corrosion studies on multicomponent TiZrNbTa thin films

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Strukturkemi

Abstract: The goal of this work was to evaluate the electrochemical properties of TiZrNbTa thin films deposited by magnetron sputtering using an industrial physical vapor deposition system. Samples were deposited on both Si(001) and 316L stainless steel. The samples deposited on Si(001) were either crystalline (bcc reflections) or amorphous, depending on the sputtering parameters. The crystalline films were composed of thin films with two different layers. The upper layer was nanocolumnar composed of elongated nanocolumns, while the lower was dense. The amorphous films had only one nanocolumnar layer and higher porosity. Polarization curves revealed that all samples had low corrosion current densities, in the order of 10-8 A/cm2. The samples showed an extended passive region up to 3.0 V vs Ag/AgCl due to the growth of a passivating oxide. The surface of the samples consisted of Nb2O5, ZrO2, TiO2 and Ta2O5. The chronoamperometry tests showed current oscillations, related to a break-down and reformation of the passive film. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy revealed that all samples behaved similarly in all three electrolytes, and the simulated electrical circuits were indicating no corrosion reactions. A decrease in capacitance values after polarization was observed and was related to the formed surface oxide. Samples deposited on 316L stainless steel showed a passive regime for a shorter potential window, probably related to surface defects of the films. Heat treatments at 400 and 800 Celsius for 20 hours could not trigger the phase transformation from single bcc to hcp or dual bcc, as predicted by the Thermo-Calc software.

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