Reconstruction mechanisms of tantalum oxide coatings with low concentrations of silver for high temperature tribological applications

DS Stone and H Gao and C Chantharangsi and C Paksunchai and M Bischof and A Martini and SM Aouadi, APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS, 105, 191607 (2014).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4901817

Silver tantalate (AgTaO3) coatings have been found to exhibit outstanding tribological properties at elevated temperatures. To understand the mechanisms involved in the tribological behavior of the Ag-Ta-O system, tantalum oxide coatings with a small content of silver were produced to investigate the metastable nature of this self- lubricating material. The coatings were produced by unbalanced magnetron sputtering, ball-on-disk wear tested at 750 degrees C, and subsequently characterized by X-ray diffraction, Scanning Auger Nanoprobe, cross- sectional Scanning Electron Microscopy, and Transmission Electron Microscopy. Complementary molecular dynamic simulations were carried out to investigate changes in the chemical and structural properties at the interface due to sliding for films with varying silver content. Both the experimental characterization and the theoretical modeling showed that silver content affects friction and wear, through the role of silver in film reconstruction during sliding. The results suggest that the relative amount of silver may be used to tune film performance for a given application. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.

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