Industrially-styled room-temperature pulsed laser depositionof titanium-based coatings
Titanium-based compounds are widely used as coating materials for mechanical, tribological, electrical, optical, catalytic, sensoric, micro-electronical applications due to their exceptionally physical and chemical properties. Recently, the trend of using temperature-sensitive materials like polymers and tool steels with the highest hardness demands new low-temperature coating techniques for protective surface finishing as well as for surface functionalization, but up to now there is lack of industrially scaled vacuum coating techniques at temperatures below 50°C. An alternative for overcoming this problem is the pulsed laser deposition (PLD) technique, which was up-scaled for industrial demands at Laser Center Leoben of JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH. The current paper summarizes the application of the industrially-scaled PLD technique on the deposition of the presently most important Ti-based coatings: metallic titanium, titanium nitride (TiN), titanium oxide (TiO2) and titanium carbonitride (TiCN). PLD coating allows, even at room temperature, the formation of film structures of Zone-T type of Thornton's structure zone model, both on substrates aligned normal and parallel to the incident vapor flux. The high-energetic depositon conditions are revealed by the occurrence of (220) textures for the fcc TiN-based films. The dense grown structure affects advantageously the tribological behavior - generally, low war rates and (for TiCN) very low friction coefficients were found. For TiO>sub>2 coatings, growing as a mixture of ß-TiO2 and amorphous phases, the easily reproducible change of deposition parameters in the room-temperature PLD allows large differences in the optical transmission and electrical resistance.