News Column

Studies from ABB Provide New Data on Coatings Technology (Reactive sputtering of NbCx-based nanocomposite coatings: An up-scaling study)

August 19, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Technology -- New research on Coatings Technology is the subject of a report. According to news reporting out of Vasteras, Sweden, by VerticalNews editors, research stated, "Nanocomposite Nb-C coatings, with a C/Nb ratio of 0.93-1.59, have been deposited by reactive sputtering in a commercial sputtering system where the C is supplied from an acetylene gas at deposition rates of up to 200 nm/min. The coatings are compared to non-reactively sputtered Nb-C coatings deposited from Nb and C targets in lab-scale equipment at deposition rates two orders of magnitude lower."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from ABB, "X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and electron microscopy are used to conclude that all coatings consist of nanoctystalline Nbc(x) grains (nc-NbCx) embedded in a matrix of amorphous C (a-C). The coating performance was evaluated in terms of their mechanical, tribological, and electrical properties. The chemical stability of the coatings was evaluated by exposure to a flowing mixture of corrosive gases. It is found that the coatings have comparable microstructure and performance to the coatings deposited by non-reactive sputtering. The high deposition rate and presence of different C-radicals on the coating surface during film growth for the reactively sputtered coatings are believed to result in a smaller NbCx grain size compared to the non-reactively sputtered coatings (reactive process: 10-3 nm, non-reactive process: similar to 75-3 nm). This difference results in a thinner a-C matrix of about 0.2 nm, which is not varying with C content for the reactively sputtered coatings. The thinner a-C matrix is reflected in coating properties, with a higher conductivity and slightly higher hardness. The coating richest in C content (C/Nb ratio 1.59) shows the lowest friction (0.23), wear rate (0.17 x 10(-6) mm(3)/mN), and contact resistance before (11 m Omega at 10 N) and after (30 m Omega at 10 N) the chemical stability test."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "These results imply that nc-NbCx/a-C coatings of this composition are a good candidate for electrical contact applications, and that up-scaling of the process is achievable."

For more information on this research see: Reactive sputtering of NbCx-based nanocomposite coatings: An up-scaling study. Surface & Coatings Technology, 2014;253():100-108. Surface & Coatings Technology can be contacted at: Elsevier Science Sa, PO Box 564, 1001 Lausanne, Switzerland. (Elsevier -; Surface & Coatings Technology -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting N. Nedfors, ABB AB Corp Res, SE-72226 Vasteras, Sweden. Additional authors for this research include O. Tengstrand, A. Flink, A.M. Andersson, P. Eklund, L. Hultman and U. Jansson.

Keywords for this news article include: Sweden, Europe, Vasteras, Coatings Technology

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC

For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel

Source: Journal of Technology

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters