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.
- Cr-C coatings
- Cr C
- Magnetron sputtering
- Valence-to-core X-ray emission spectroscopy