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Submicron coatings for micro-tribological applications

: Bandorf, R.; Lüthje, H.; Schiffmann, K.; Beck, M.; Gatzen, H.-H.; Schmidt, M.; Büttgenbach, S.; Bräuer, G.


Microsystem Technologies 10 (2004), No.3, pp.223-226
ISSN: 0946-7076
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IST ()

The miniaturisation of mechanical components and machines enables innovative future products. However, for the improvement of functionality, reliability and lifetime of those micro systems, micro tribological coatings with thicknesses in the sub-micron range are needed. To cover these needs, we investigated different submicron coatings with the aim to develop wear and friction optimized thin films for this application. The basis of this work has been the state of the art know how of well established macroscopic coatings which in general are in a thickness range of a few micrometers. It turned out, that particularly the surface topography and the substrate material influence the properties of very thin films. For investigations with single asperity contact, the coefficient of friction (COF) was reduced by lowering the tip radius and the hardness of the substrate material. In contrast, for larger contact radii (pin-on-disc), an increase of the COF with decreasing substrate Young's modulus was found. With respect to wear, it turned out that the wear depth increased dramatically with increasing initial surface roughness (R(ind a)).