Date of Award

1-1-2009

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Physics

First Advisor

Aouadi, Samir

Abstract

Adaptive coatings are an important development in tribology. These coatings widen the range at which solid lubricants are useful in various environments. In this paper, coatings founded on molybdenum nitride are studied, with a focus on thermal cycling. These coatings were fabricated by unbalanced magnetron sputtering and characterized with techniques including x-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Raman spectroscopy, energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS), and pin-on-disk tribometer. The results of two sets of coatings are reported. The first set of coatings is a nanocomposite of Mo2N/MoS2/Me (Me = Ag, Au, Cu). The second is a complex multi-layer system of Mo2N/Ag and a diffusion barrier of TiN which has been etched, then filled and coated with a layer of MoS2. After heating, these compounds produced silver molybdates. The Mo2N/MoS2/Ag nanocomposite shows promise with a 0.02 coefficient of friction at room temperature, while the multi-layer system eventually equilibrated at approximately 0.6. At high temperatures, again the nanocomposite was better, producing a 0.25 frictional coefficient compared to a 0.3 from the multilayer system. These results provide insight into what is needed to achieve thermal cycling.

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