High hardness and fatigue resistance of CoCrFeMnNi high entropy alloy films with ultrahigh-density nanotwins

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Ze Wang
  • Cheng Wang
  • Ya-Chu Hsu
  • Chia-Lin Li
  • Chun-Hway Hsueh


Original languageEnglish
Article number102726
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Plasticity
Online published10 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


Development of film materials has been limited by the hardness-fatigue resistance trade-off. The purpose of the present study was to obtain films with a combination of both high hardness and strong fatigue resistance. To achieve this, CoCrFeMnNi high entropy alloy films (HEAFs) were fabricated with three different structures: amorphous, high-density nanotwinned crystal structure with twin spacings of 2.2-5.6 nm, and ultrahigh-density nanotwinned columnar grains with twin spacings of 1.2-2.5 nm. Nanoindentation with dynamic mechanical analysis was used to measure the hardness and perform the fatigue tests. While higher twin densities could dissipate more energy by detwinning during fatigue loading to enhance the fatigue resistance, twin spacings larger than and small than 2 nm could, respectively, result in hardening and softening. Our results showed a high hardness of ~9 GPa and fair fatigue resistance (~104 cycles) for both amorphous and high-density nanotwinned crystalline layers. For the ultrahigh-density nanotwinned columnar grain structure, a high hardness of ~8.5 GPa and an excellent fatigue resistance (~106 cycles) were obtained. The outstanding fatigue resistance and high hardness were attributed to the synergistic effect of strain hardening and detwinning of ultrahigh-density nanotwins. The results not only enable CoCrFeMnNi HEAFs with a predominant combination of hardness and fatigue resistance, but also shed light on a new perspective for overcoming the conflict between hardness and fatigue resistance in film materials for microelectromechanical applications.

Research Area(s)

  • Fatigue resistance, Hardness, High entropy alloy films, Nanoindentation dynamic mechanical analysis, Nanotwins

Citation Format(s)