Microstructure evolution and thermal stability of equiatomic CoCrFeNi films on (0001) α-Al2O3

Addab, Y. and Kini, M.K. and Courtois, B. and Savan, A. and Ludwig, Al. and Bozzolo, N. and Scheu, C. and Dehm, G. and Chatain, D.

Volume: 200 Pages: 908-921
DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2020.09.064
Published: 2020

Homogeneous face-centered cubic (fcc) polycrystalline CoCrFeNi films were deposited at room temperature on (0001) α-Al2O3 (c-sapphire). Phase and morphological stability of 200 to 670 nm thick films were investigated between 973 K and 1423 K. The fcc-phase persists while the original <111> texture of 30-100 nm wide columnar grains evolves into ~10 or ~1000 µm wide grains upon annealing. Only the metallic M grains having two specific orientation relationships (ORs) to the c-sapphire grow. These ORs are OR1 (M(111)[11¯0]//α-Al2O3(0001)[11¯00]) and OR2 (M(111)[11¯0]//α-Al2O3(0001)[112¯0])and their twin-related variants (OR1t and OR2t). They are identical to those reported for several pure fcc metal (M) films. Thus, the ORs in these fcc/c-sapphire systems appear not to be controlled by the fcc phase chemistry or its lattice parameter as usually assumed in literature. Upon annealing, the films either retain their integrity or break-up depending on the competing kinetics of grain growth and grain boundary grooving. Triple junctions of the grain boundaries, the major actors in film stability, were tracked. Thinner films and higher temperatures favor film break-up by dewetting from the holes grooved at the triple junctions down to the substrate. Below 1000 K, the film microstructure stabilizes into 10 µm wide OR1 and OR1t twin grains independent of film thickness. Above 1000 K, the OR2 and OR2t grains expand to sizes exceeding more than a 1000 times the film thickness. The grain boundaries of the OR2 and OR2t grains migrate fast enough to overcome the nucleation of holes from which break-up could initiate. The growth of the OR2 and OR2t grains in this complex alloy is faster than in pure fcc metals at equivalent homologous annealing temperatures. © 2020 Acta Materialia Inc.

« back