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Structure and mechanical properties of silica doped zirconia thin films

: Uhlmann, I.; Hawelka, D.; Hildebrandt, E.; Pradella, J.; Rödel, J.


Thin solid films 527 (2013), S.200-204
ISSN: 0040-6090
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF
Fraunhofer ILT ()

Sol-gel based wear resistant coatings are presented as an alternative to existing vapor deposition coatings. The films consist of zirconia which has been doped with 8 wt.% silica. Crack-free single as well as multilayer coatings with thicknesses of 80 and 150 nm, respectively, could be produced after sintering at 1000 degrees C. The evolution of layer thickness, optical, chemical and mechanical properties during film annealing was investigated by ellipsometry, scanning electron microscopy, thermal gravimetric analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, nanoindentation and micro-abrasion. Micro-abrasion has been established as an easy and powerful tool to achieve first comparative abrasion data which could be correlated to hardness, Young's modulus and structure of the films. Above 600 degrees C a tetragonal, oxide coating with a Young's modulus ranging from 80 to 90 GPa, a hardness from 7 to 8 GPa and an increased abrasion resistance was obtained. The film density reached 4.64 g/cm(3) with the mean refractive index n(550) (nm) lying between 1.88 and 1.93.