Proceedings of the
9th International Conference of Asian Society for Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology (ASPEN2022)
15 – 18 November 2022, Singapore

Study on the Nanoscale Tribological Characteristics of Thin Film Coatings

Young Chan Jung1, You-jin Min1 and Dae-Eun Kim1,a

1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 03722, Republic of Korea


Wear that occurs between two or more bodies in contact leads to functional problems of a system such as leakage, corrosion, and reduced efficiency. To overcome these problems, wear resistant coatings are applied on the surface through different methods, depending on the materials, scales, and applications. Thin film coatings are in demand due to advancing nano/micro technologies, and the wear characteristics in nanoscale should be examined since the thickness of the coatings can be as low as a few nanometers. In this study, nanoscale wear of thin film coating was investigated. The coatings were fabricated by magnetron sputtering system, and while maintaining the top layer the same, different sub-layers were applied to deviate the mechanical properties of each coating. The hardness and elastic modulus of the coatings were examined by nanoindentation method in order to assess the effects of different sub-layers on the mechanical properties. The surface roughness and topology were examined using an atomic force microscope (AFM) before and after the wear tests. AFM was also utilized in the wear experiments by controlling the normal loads and sliding a hard AFM tip on the surface to induce nanoscale wear. The wear results were examined and compared to analyze the wear characteristics of coatings according to their different mechanical properties. The results of this study will aid in optimizing the structure of thin film coatings in nano/micro applications.

Keywords: Nanoscale wear, Tribology, Thin film coating, Atomic force microscope

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