Characterization of sputter-deposited 316L stainless steel films

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Sputter-deposited 316L stainless steel films deposited on various substrates were characterized using transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffractometry. The deposits were found to be fine-grained and the phases present in the films depended on the nature of the substrate. Films of various thicknesses deposited on microscope slides or oxidized stainless steel substrates contained a mixture of two phases: a body centre cubic (b c c) and a modified hexagonal ε-phase. The hexagonal phase appeared to be an ordered phase, as suggested by the aO value of the structure, which is twice that for the ε-martensite found in many deformed stainless steels. These films were hard and brittle, as indicated by microhardness measurements. Films deposited on oxide-free austenitic stainless steel substrates, on the other hand, were mostly b c c and exhibited a dominant 〈2 00〉 texture. These films were softer and less brittle than those deposited on oxidized substrates. In situ high-temperature X-ray diffractometry revealed that the ε-phase transformed to b c c when the films were annealed at 773 K. On annealing at 873 K, the b c c phase transformed to face centre cubic, which remained stable on cooling to room temperature. These results agree with published data which suggest stability of the b c c phase up to 840 K. Some discrepancies from earlier published reports are discussed in the light of the present results.




Godbole, M.J., A.J. Pedraza, L.F. Allard and G.G. Geesey, "Characterization of sputter-deposited 316L stainless steel films," Journal of Materials Science, 27(20):5585-5590 (1992). doi:10.1007/bf00541627
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