Effects of annealing temperatures on the morphological, mechanical, surface chemical bonding, and solar selectivity properties of sputtered TiAlSiN thin films
School of Engineering
Quaternary sputtered TiAlSiN coatings were investigated for their high temperature structural stability, surface morphology, mechanical behaviors, surface chemical bonding states, solar absorptance and thermal emittance for possible solar selective surface applications. The TiAlSiN films were synthesized, via unbalanced magnetron sputtered technology, on AISI M2 steel substrate and annealed at 500 °C - 800 °C temperature range. SEM micrographs show nanocomposite-like structure with amorphous grain boundaries. Nanoindentation analyses indicate a decrease of hardness, plastic deformation and constant yield strength for the coatings. XPS analysis show mixed Ti, Al and Si nitride and oxide as main coating components but at 800 °C the top layer of the coatings is clearly composed of only Ti and Al oxides. Synchrotron radiation XRD (SR-XRD) results indicate various Ti, Al and Si nitride and oxide phases, for the above annealing temperature range with a phase change occurring with the Fe component of the substrate. UV–Vis spectroscopy, FTIR spectroscopy studies determined a high solar selectivity, s of 24.6 for the sample annealed at 600 °C. Overall results show good structural and morphological stability of these coatings at temperatures up to 800 °C with a very good solar selectivity for real world applications.