Journal of Inorganic Materials ›› 2012, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (5): 536-540.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1077.2012.00536

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effect of Target Composition and Sputtering Parameters on Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Vanadium Carbide Films

Jie SHEN, Guan-Qun LI, Yu-Ge LI, Ge-Yang LI   

  1. State Key Lab of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
  • Received:2011-07-16 Revised:2011-12-06 Online:2012-05-10 Published:2012-03-31
  • About author:SHEN Jie. E-mail:


To improve the crystalinity and mechanical properties of the films sputtering with carbide target, a series of vanadium carbide films were prepared by magnetron sputtering in an argon atmosphere using the stoichiometric VC target (n(C):n(V)=1:1) and substoichiometric VC target (n(C):n(V)=0.75:1). Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and nanoindentation were employed to characterize their composition, microstructure and mechanical properties. The results show that for the VC target (n(C):n(V)=1:1), only when the Ar pressure is between 2.4 Pa and 3.2 Pa, the films can obtain fine crystallized structure and attain high hardness, of which the highest hardness is 28 GPa. For the V-rich VC target, fine crystallized films and high hardness (31.4 GPa) could be gained in lower Ar pressure (0.6-1.8 Pa). Compared with argon pressure and substrate temperature, target composition is the main factor of the film composition, microstructure and mechanical properties, thus proper increasing the content of metal component of the target is a more effective way to get VC films with good crystalinity and high hardness.

Key words: vanadium carbide, film, microstructure, mechanical properties, magnetron sputtering

CLC Number: 

  • O484