Martensitic transformation of FeNi nanofilm induced by interfacial stress generated in FeNi/V nanomultilayered structure
© Li et al.; licensee Springer. 2014
Received: 1 April 2014
Accepted: 9 August 2014
Published: 27 August 2014
FeNi/V nanomultilayered films with different V layer thicknesses were synthesized by magnetron sputtering. By adjusting the thickness of the V layer, different interfacial compressive stress were imposed on FeNi layers and the effect of interfacial stress on martensitic transformation of the FeNi film was investigated. Without insertion of V layers, the FeNi film exhibits a face-centered cubic (fcc) structure. With the thickness of V inserted layers up to 1.5 nm, under the coherent growth structure in FeNi/V nanomultilayered films, FeNi layers bear interfacial compressive stress due to the larger lattice parameter relative to V, which induces the martensitic transformation of the FeNi film. As the V layer thickness increases to 2.0 nm, V layers cannot keep the coherent growth structure with FeNi layers, leading to the disappearance of interfacial compressive stress and termination of the martensitic transformation in the FeNi film. The interfacial compressive stress-induced martensitic transformation of the FeNi nanofilm is verified through experiment. The method of imposing and modulating the interfacial stress through the epitaxial growth structure in the nanomultilayered films should be noticed and utilized.
KeywordsFeNi alloy Multilayer thin films Martensitic phase transformation Interfacial stress Epitaxial growth
Martensitic transformation in nanostructured materials has attracted considerable scientific interest over the past decades because phase transformation behaviors in nanostructured materials are different from their conventional coarse-grained counterparts [1, 2]. To explain abnormal martensitic transformation behaviors, many competing theories have been suggested, including lack of nucleation sites , inhibition of nanotwin boundaries , surface energy difference [5, 6], and interfacial stress due to particle curvature [7, 8]. Among them, it is widely believed that interfacial stress plays an important role in abnormal martensitic transformation of nanostructured materials due to the high volume fraction of interfaces. Nevertheless, this viewpoint has only been brought forward in theories, which has difficulty to be verified through experiment. In addition, stress-induced martensitic transformation has been widely observed and investigated in past half a century [9–11]. Martensitic transformations could be found to be affected in a variety of ways of the application of stress. However, whether the martensitic transformations in nanostructured materials can be influenced by the nanoscaled stress has rarely been documented, which is of great importance to martensitic transformation research in nanostructured materials.
The above investigations are difficult to carry out owing to the fact that it is difficult to artificially impose the nanoscaled stress within nanostructured materials. Fortunately, the current studies on nanomultilayered films provide us a feasibility of artificially imposing the interfacial stress in the nanosized films. Through alternately depositing two layers with different lattice parameters, d, the two layers can bear the interfacial tensile or compressive stress under the coherent growth structure in nanomultilayered films [12, 13]. Furthermore, the interfacial stress can be modulated by changing the modulation period and ratio of two layers. To this end, Fe50Ni50 alloy (at.%, face-centered cubic (fcc) structure, d is 342 pm  (1 pm = 10-12 m)) with typical martensitic transformation [15, 16] and V (body-centered cubic (bcc) structure, d is 302.4 pm) without allotropic transformation are alternately deposited to synthesize FeNi/V nanomultilayered films. By altering the thickness of the V layer, different interfacial stress will be imposed on FeNi nanolayers under the coherent growth structure and the effect of interfacial stress on martensitic transformation of the FeNi nanofilm will be investigated.
The FeNi/V nanomultilayered films were fabricated on silicon substrates by a magnetron sputtering system. The FeNi layer was deposited from a Fe50Ni50 alloy target (at.%, 99.99%) by DC mode, and the power was set at 100 W. The V layer was sputtered from a V target (99.99%) by RF mode, and the power was set at 80 W. Both FeNi and V targets were 75 mm in diameter. The substrates were ultrasonically cleaned in acetone and alcohol before being mounted on a rotatable substrate holder in the vacuum chamber. The distance between the substrate and target was 50 mm. The base pressure was pumped down to 5.0 × 10-4 Pa before deposition. The Ar flow rate was 15 sccm. The working pressure was 0.4 Pa, and the substrate was heated up to 300°C during deposition. The configuration of FeNi/V nanomultilayered films was designed with FeNi layers with a fixed thickness of about 10 nm along with variable V layer thickness ranging from 0.5 to 3.0 nm. The individual modulation layer thickness of the multilayered film was obtained by controlling the staying time of the substrates in front of each target. The monolithic FeNi film (without insertion of V nanolayers) was also fabricated for comparison. The thickness of all films was about 2 μm.
The microstructures of FeNi/V nanomultilayered films were investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) using Bruker D8 Advance (Bruker AXS, Inc., Madison, WI, USA) with Cu Ka radiation and field emission high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) using Philips CM200-FEG (Philips, Amsterdam, The Netherlands). The composition was characterized by an energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) accessory equipped in a Philips Quanta FEG450 scanning electron microscope (SEM). The XRD measurements were performed by a Bragg-Brentano (θ/2θ) scan mode with the operating parameters of 30 kV and 20 mA. The diffraction angle (2θ) range for high-angle diffraction pattern was scanned from 40° to 70°. The preparation procedures of the cross-sectional specimen for TEM observation are as follows. The films with a substrate were cut into two pieces and adhered face to face, which were subsequently cut at the joint position to make a slice. The slices were thinned by mechanical polishing followed by argon ion milling.
Results and discussion
It is worth noting that the diffraction information of V layers is not detected in the SAED patterns for the FeNi/V nanomultilayered films with different V layer thicknesses in Figure 3, which can be attributed to two aspects. Firstly, when V layers grow epitaxially with FeNi layers, V layers transform into a fcc structure under the template effect of FeNi layers, and the lattice parameter is inclined to increase and approach that of FeNi. Therefore, the SAED rings of V may coincide with those of FeNi. A similar phenomenon could also be found in our recent investigation of CrAlN/ZrO2 nanomultilayered films . When the thickness of the ZrO2 layer was less than 1.0 nm, the originally tetragonal-structured ZrO2 layers were forced to transform to a pseudomorphic fcc structure and grew epitaxially with CrAlN layers. In this case, the SAED patterns can be only composed of a fcc structure, without detection of a tetragonal structure. Secondly, as the V layer thickness increases to 2.0 nm, amorphization can be the reason of the absence of diffraction information of V layers in the SAED patterns. With the thickening of V layers, V gradually transforms from the metastable fcc structure to a stable bcc structure due to the difference of strain-free bulk energy . The amorphization can be the transition state between the fcc structure and bcc structure. From the XRD results, V layers transform from the transient amorphous state into a stable bcc structure when the V layer thickness increases to 3.0 nm. Therefore, when the V layer thickness is in the range of 2.0 ~ 3.0 nm, V layers present the amorphous state between fcc structure and bcc structure. We also observed the amorphization of yttrium (Y) layers between fcc structure and hcp structure with the increase of Y layer thickness in FeNi/Y nanomultilayered films, which will be discussed in another paper. It must be pointed out that amorphous-featured diffraction corona is not observed in the SAED pattern, which can be attributed to the facts that the diffraction information is only gathered from the circular region with the diameter of about 20 nm and in such small area, the low amount V with the thickness of 1.5 nm cannot produce enough strong diffraction signal.
where Ebulk and Estr, respectively, are the strain-free bulk energy and strain energy per unit of V layer, in which Estr takes a larger value with a small tV and decreases with the increase of tV, and Eint is the interfacial energy between FeNi and V layers.
where A is the modulation amplifying factor influenced by modulation period, modulation ratio, and roughness and width of interfaces. According to the studies from Mirkarimi  and Shinn , A takes the value of 0.5 for calculation in this investigation. EWA is the weighted average elastic modulus of the bilayer layers, which is calculated as 195.8 GPa for a FeNi(10 nm)/V(1.5 nm) nanomultilayered film based on the elastic modulus values for Fe50Ni50 (206 GPa) and V (128 GPa). η is the lattice mismatch between two layers of multilayers. Since V layers transform into a fcc structure, it is difficult to calculate the lattice mismatch between two layers. If it is assumed that the lattice mismatch is between 3% and 5%, the maximum shear stress is about 1.20 to 1.99 GPa according to Equation 2.
Stress-induced martensitic transformation has been widely observed and investigated in past decades. Hsu and his collaborators successfully predicted the start temperatures of martensitic transformation (M s ) in Fe-C, Fe-X, and Fe-X-C alloys by the thermodynamics theories and believed that applied stress, as a driving force, could promote martensitic transformation and thus elevate M s [26–29]. Gautier et al. reported a linear enhancement of M s in Fe-Ni alloys with applied stress (σ) with dM S /dσ of 0.07°C/MPa for a cooling rate of 0.5°C/s . According to this result, M s of the FeNi layer in the FeNi/V nanomultilayered film should increase from 84°C to 139.3°C relative to that with no interfacial stress. Therefore, interfacial compressive stress generated in the nanomultilayered film can induce martensitic transformation of the FeNi layer.As the thickness of V layers increases to 2.0 nm, as shown in Figure 5c, V layers can hardly keep their fcc structure, and transform into an amorphous state, which destroys the coherent growth structure, leading to the appearance of interfacial compressive stress. Accordingly, the martensitic transformation in FeNi layers terminates, and the FeNi layers transform back into the original fcc structure.
In this investigation, it is experimentally confirmed that interfacial compressive stress in nanoscale can induce the martensitic transformation in FeNi nanolayers. Generally, within the nanostructured materials, a large amount of interfacial stress could exist owing to the high volume fraction of interfaces, which might modulate the martensitic transformation of the nanostructured materials and make the martensitic transformation behaviors in the nanostructured materials differ from their conventional coarse-grained counterparts. Utilizing the nanomultilayered structure, the interfacial compressive or tensile stress can be imposed on the different nanofilms and the influence of the interfacial compressive or tensile stress on the martensitic transformation and even other phase transformations of nanofilms can be experimentally investigated. Therefore, the method of imposing and modulating the interfacial stress through the epitaxial growth structure in the nanomultilayered films should also be noticed and utilized.
In summary, FeNi/V nanomultilayered films with different V layer thicknesses were synthesized by magnetron sputtering. By adjusting the thickness of the V layer, different interfacial compressive stress were imposed on FeNi layers and the effect of interfacial stress on martensitic transformation in the FeNi film was investigated. Without insertion of V layers, the FeNi film exhibits a fcc structure. With the thickness of V inserted layers up to 1.5 nm, under the coherent growth structure in FeNi/V nanomultilayered films, FeNi layers bear interfacial compressive stress due to the larger lattice parameter relative to V, which induces the martensitic transformation of the FeNi film. As the V layer thickness increases to 2.0 nm, V layers cannot keep the coherent growth structure with FeNi layers, leading to the disappearance of interfacial stress and termination of the martensitic transformation in FeNi films. This investigation verifies that the martensitic transformation could be induced by the nanoscaled interfacial stress in the FeNi nanofilms. The method of imposing and modulating the interfacial stress through the epitaxial growth structure in the nanomultilayered films should also be especially noticed and utilized.
The present work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 51101101, 'Innovation Program of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission’ under Grant No. 12YZ104, and 'Shanghai Leading Academic Discipline Project’ under Grant No. J50503 sponsored by the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission.
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