Ti Al N thin films with different Al content were deposited by magnetron sputtering. The combination of electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) was used to evaluate the composition of the coatings. The effect of Al content on the morphology and properties of the coatings was investigated. High resolution electron microscopy and related techniques revealed the formation of a pillared moth-eye-like nanostructure with variable size and distribution of meso- and nano-columns and different degree of open porosity that depends on the Al content on the coating. For low Al content (x ≤ 0.21) c-(Ti,Al)N highly porous columns ending in a sharp pyramidal shape present low reflectivity and high hydrophobicity. While the precipitation of h-AlN phase at the column boundaries for x = 0.71 suppresses the c-(Ti,Al)N columnar growth and produces a smother surface, with higher reflectivity and less hydrophobic character.
Technological Platform Synthesis, Irradiation and Analysis of Materials
Facility/equipment: Technological Platform