Application of valence-to-core X-ray emission spectroscopy for identification and estimation of amount of carbon covalently bonded to chromium in amorphous Cr-C coatings prepared by magnetron sputtering

V. A. Safonov, H. Habazaki, P. Glatzel, L. A. Fishgoit, O. A. Drozhzhin, S. Lafuerza, O. V. Safonova

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3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cr-C coatings containing different amount of carbon ranging from ∼5 to 50 at.% were prepared by the direct current (DC) magnetron sputtering on a polished substrate of polycrystalline silicon. The thickness of the samples was about 400 nm. We characterized the composition and the structure of the as-received coatings and those annealed at 500 °C by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Energy dispersion X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and valence-to-core X-ray emission spectroscopy (vtc-XES) methods As follows from XRD measurements, the samples with the carbon content above 35 at.% do not demonstrate any sign of the long-range order and annealing at 500 °С does not change their crystallinity. The vtc-XES curves of the as-prepared and annealed samples can be fitted as a superposition of corresponding spectra of chromium metal and chromium carbide (Cr 3 C 2 ) phases. After the annealing, the content of carbides in the samples (and, correspondingly, the content of covalently bonded carbon) somewhat increases. This suggests that the as-received coatings contain a certain amount of carbon that is not covalently bonded to chromium (most likely, elemental carbon) and their annealing at 500 °С transforms this carbon into the additional (of the order of 2–5 at.%) amount of chromium carbide compounds. It deserves mentioning that for Cr-C coatings prepared by the electrochemical deposition from Cr(III) electrolytes containing organic compounds we have not observed changes in the vtc-X-ray emission spectra after similar annealing. This suggests that electrochemical deposition method in contrast to magnetron sputtering technique even at low temperatures favors the formation of only covalently bonded carbon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-572
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Surface Science
Volume427
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Annealing
  • Cr
  • Cr-C coatings
  • Cr C
  • EDX
  • Magnetron sputtering
  • Valence-to-core X-ray emission spectroscopy
  • XRD

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