Indentation size effect on hardness of nanostructured thin films

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-368
Journal / PublicationKey Engineering Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2006


Based on nanoindentation techniques, the evaluation of hardness of two nanostructured thin films, AlN and Ti-Al-N, is discussed. In the case of AlN films, the indentation size effect of hardness can be modeled using the concept of geometrically necessary dislocations, whereas in the case of Ti-Al-N films, the measured hardness increases exponentially as the indentation depth decreases. The results show that, as thin films approach superhard, dislocation-based plastic deformation is gradually replaced by grain-boundary mediated deformation.

Research Area(s)

  • AlN, Hardness, Nanoindentation, Size effect, Thin films, Ti-Al-N