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Chin. Phys. B, 2014, Vol. 23(10): 105203    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/23/10/105203

Nitriding molybdenum: Effects of duration and fill gas pressure when using 100-Hz pulse DC discharge technique

U. Ikhlaqa, R. Ahmadb, M. Shafiqc, S. Saleema, M. S. Shaha, T. Hussainb, I. A. Khand, K. Abbasa, M. S. Abbasb
a Department of Physics, Government College University, Lahore 54000, Pakistan;
b Centre for Advanced Studies in Physics (CASP), Government College University, Lahore 54000, Pakistan;
c Department of Physics, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan;
d Department of Physics, GC University Faisalabad, Faisalabad 38000, Pakistan
Abstract  Molybdenum is nitrided by a 100-Hz pulsed DC glow discharge technique for various time durations and fill gas pressures to study the effects on the surface properties of molybdenum. X-ray diffractometry (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM) are used for the structural and morphological analysis of the nitrided layers. Vickers' microhardness tester is utilized to investigate surface microhardness. Phase analysis shows the formation of more molybdenum nitride molecules for longer nitriding durations at fill gas pressures of 2 mbar and 3 mbar (1 bar=105 Pa). A considerable increase in surface microhardness (approximately by a factor of 2) is observed for longer duration (10 h) and 2-mbar pressure. Longer duration (10 h) and 2-mbar fill gas pressure favors the formation of homogeneous, smooth, hard layers by the incorporation of more nitrogen.
Keywords:  pulsed DC glow discharge      scanning electron microscopy      atomic force microscopy      microhardness  
Received:  22 November 2013      Revised:  06 June 2014      Accepted manuscript online: 
PACS:  52.80.Hc (Glow; corona)  
  61.05.cp (X-ray diffraction)  
  68.37.Hk (Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) (including EBIC))  
  68.37.Ps (Atomic force microscopy (AFM))  
Corresponding Authors:  R. Ahmad     E-mail:
About author:  52.80.Hc; 61.05.cp; 68.37.Hk; 68.37.Ps

Cite this article: 

U. Ikhlaq, R. Ahmad, M. Shafiq, S. Saleem, M. S. Shah, T. Hussain, I. A. Khan, K. Abbas, M. S. Abbas Nitriding molybdenum: Effects of duration and fill gas pressure when using 100-Hz pulse DC discharge technique 2014 Chin. Phys. B 23 105203

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