B02 – Combinatorial synthesis of Ni-Nb-Cu-Al-Au thin film model systems

PI: Prof. Jochen. M. Schneider (Materials Chemistry, RWTH Aachen University, Kopernikusstr. 10, 52074 Aachen)

SFB researchers: Shamsa Aliramaji (Materials Chemistry, RWTH Aachen University, Kopernikusstr. 10, 52074 Aachen)

The goal of this project is to investigate the causality between synthesis conditions, chemical composition, phase formation, and morphology of intermetallic and solid solutions of Ni-Nb-Cu-Al-Au thin films with minimized impurity concentrations and maximized domain sizes. To this end, binary and ternary Ni-based solid solutions and intermetallics of Nb7Ni6, Nb7(Ni,Cu)6, Nb7(Ni,Al)6  and  Nb(Ni,Al)2 thin films are synthesized combinatorically by ultra-high vacuum physical vapor deposition (PVD). Using this approach, thin films with composition gradients are obtained which allow for an efficient investigation of composition induced changes in phase formation within the Ni-Nb-Cu-Al-Au system. The as-grown thin films are characterized regarding phase formation by X-ray diffraction (XRD), morphology by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and (global) chemical composition by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) along the composition gradient. Hence, the correlation between chemical composition, synthesis conditions, and thin film morphology is identified. By systematic variation of the synthesis conditions the phase formation and morphology of the synthesized thin films are tailored to serve as model systems that enable the investigation of the effect of composition on the structural and chemical complexity. In collaboration, the effect of chemical and structural complexity on the corrosive and mechanical behavior is studied systematically. These data are required to compile predictive defect phase diagrams.


[1] Keuter, P.; Karimi Aghda, S.; Music, D.; Kümmerl, P.; Schneider, J.M. (2019) Synthesis of Intermetallic (Mg1-x,Alx)2Ca by Combinatorial Sputtering. Materials 12 (18) pp. 3026 DOI:10.3390/ma12183026

[2] Aliramaji, A.; Keuter, P.; Neuß, D.; Hans M.; Primetzhofer, D.; Depla, D.; Schneider, J.M. (2023) Effect of growth temperature and atmosphere exposure time on impurity incorporation in sputtered Mg, Al, and Ca thin films. Materials 16 (1) pp. 414 DOI:10.3390/ma16010414

[3] Keuter, P.; to Baben, M.; Aliramaji, S.; Schneider, J.M. (2023) CALPHAD-Based Modelling of the Temperature–Composition–Structure Relationship during Physical Vapor Deposition of Mg-Ca Thin Films. Materials 16 (6) pp. 2417 DOI:10.3390/ma16062417

[4] Aliramaji, A.; Keuter, P.; Neuß D.; Hans M.; Primetzhofer, D.; Depla, D.; Schneider, J.M. Impurity sources and incorporation pathways during sputtering of Mg and Al thin films.