Size dependency in stacking fault-mediated ultrahard high-entropy alloy thin films

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

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Original languageEnglish
Article number156187
Journal / PublicationJournal of Alloys and Compounds
Online published28 Jun 2020
Publication statusOnline published - 28 Jun 2020


High-entropy alloy (HEA) thin films are known to exhibit excellent and tunable mechanical properties, making it an attractive candidate for various engineering applications. A series of nanocrystalline face-centered cubic (FCC) Al0·1CoCrFeNi HEA films with film thicknesses spanning from 250 to 1500 nm were prepared by magnetron co-sputtering in this work. The size-dependent microstructure and mechanical behaviors including the hardness, strain rate sensitivity and activation volume of stacking faulted HEA thin films were systematically investigated. Importantly, the stacking faulted HEA thin films achieved ultrahigh hardness of up to 9.9 GPa at a grain size of 9.4 nm, above which the hardness decreases with increasing grain size or film thickness. Furthermore, the strain rate sensitivity was found to continuously increase with decreasing the grain size or film thickness (which is opposite to the trend of activation volume). The thermally activated model was employed to account for the size and stacking fault dependence of mechanical responses. The findings not only provide insights into understanding the size-dependent mechanical behavior of FCC stacking faulted HEAs, but also offer some clues to achieve their optimized mechanical performance at small scales.

Research Area(s)

  • High-entropy alloy, Thin film, Size effect, Stacking fault, Deformation mechanism, Strain rate sensitivity