Mechanical components and tools in modern industry are facing increasing performance requirements leading to the growing need for advanced materials and thus, for modern frictional systems. In the last decades, the Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) has emerged as an unique tool to grow high quality mono- as well as multilayers surfaces in metallic/ceramic systems. Building up a knowledge base of tribological properties of industrially-scaled, room temperature deposited PLD hard coatings are the most important step for the application of these coatings in engineering design. Although single-layer coatings find a range of applications, there are an increasing number of applications where the properties of a single material are not sufficient. One way to surmount this problem is to use a multilayer coating. Application of metallic interlayers improves adhesion of nitride hard layer in multilayer systems, which has been used in PVD processes for many years, however, the PLD technique gives new possibilities to produce system comprising many bilayers at room temperature. Tribological coatings consisted of 2, 4 and 16 bilayers of Cr/CrN and Ti/TiN type were fabricated with the Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) technique in the presented work. It is found in transmission electron examinations on thin foils prepared from cross-section that both nitride-based multilayer structures studied are characterized by small columnar crystallite sizes and high defect density, what might rise their hardness but compromise coating adhesion. The intermediate metallic layers contained larger sized and less defective columnar structure compared to the nitride layers, which should improve the coatings toughness. Switching from single layer to multi-layer metal/nitride composition improved resistance to delamination.
Hybryd PLD method was used for deposition high quality thin Ti, TiN, Ti(C,N) and DLC coatings. The kinetic energy of the evaporated particles was controlled by application of variation of di#11;erent reactive and non reactive atmospheres during deposition. The purpose was to improve adhesion by building a bridge between the real ceramic coating and the substrate. A new layer composition layout was proposed by application of a bu#11;er, starting layer. Advanced HRTEM investigation based on high resolution transmission electron microscopy was used to reveal structure dependence on specific atmosphere in the reactive chamber. New experimental technique to examine the crystallographic orientation based on X-ray texture tomography was applied to estimate contribution of the atmosphere to crystal orientation. Using Dictyostelium discoideum cells as a model organism for specific and nonspecific adhesion, kinetics of shear flow-induced cell detachment was studied. For a given cell, detachment occurs for critical stress values caused by the applied hydrodynamic pressure above a threshold. Cells are then removed from the substrate with an apparent first-order rate reaction that strongly depends on the stress. The threshold stress depends on cell size and physicochemical properties of the substrate, but it is not a#11;ected by depolymerization of the actin and tubulin cytoskeleton.
Titanium nitride (TiN) is regarded as a potential biomaterial for blood-contact applications. TiN thin films were fabricated by pulsed laser deposition with the Nd:YAG laser on biologically applied polyurethane. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) study of 250 nm thick films revealed columnar structure. Such films were observed to be brittle, which led to crack formation and secondary nucleation of microcolumn. TEM studies showed a kinetic mechanism of growth (columnar) in films of 250 nm thickness. It was stated that thinner films were much smoother and uniform than the thicker ones, which could be associated with the surface diffusion mechanism to appear. In order to improve the coatings elasticity, the thickness was reduced to 50 nm, which limited the deposition mechanism operation to the early stage. TEM cross-section observation revealed elastic properties of thin films. A biological test showed that TiN surface film produced on polyurethane is characterized by good biocompatibility and decreased surface affinity for cell adhesion. Films of 0.25 and 0.5 1m thick of TiN were selected for theoretical finite element modelling (FEM) using ADINA program. The micro cracks formation predicted in simulation was verified by phenomena observed in microstructure examinations.