Volume 44, Issue 1 p. 48-55
Research article

Rf-GDOES analysis of composite metal/ceramic electroplated coatings with nano- to microceramic particles' size: issues in plasma sputtering of Ni/micro-SiC coatings

A. Lanzutti

Corresponding Author

A. Lanzutti

Department of Chemical Science and Technology, University of Udine, 33100 Udine, Italy

University of Udine via cotonificio 108, 33100 Udine, Italy.Search for more papers by this author
E. Marin

E. Marin

Department of Chemical Science and Technology, University of Udine, 33100 Udine, Italy

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M. Lekka

M. Lekka

Department of Chemical Science and Technology, University of Udine, 33100 Udine, Italy

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P. Chapon

P. Chapon

Horiba Jobin Yvon, Rue du Canal, 91165 Longjumeau, France

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L. Fedrizzi

L. Fedrizzi

Department of Chemical Science and Technology, University of Udine, 33100 Udine, Italy

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First published: 13 April 2011
Citations: 6

Abstract

Ni matrix composite coatings reinforced with nano- and microceramic particles were analyzed by radio frequency glow discharge optical emission spectrometry (Rf-GDOES). An interesting phenomenon related to the sputtering and excitation modes of this technique was observed. During plasma sputtering with Rf-GDOES, the micro-SiC particles were detached from metal matrix and did not contribute to the analytical signals. The same was not found in composite coatings containing nanoceramic particles. This anomalous behavior was confirmed by atomic force microscopy (AFM) investigation and scanning electron microscope (SEM) observations into Rf-GDOES craters that showed the presence of residual non-sputtered microparticles. Various attempts were done in order to minimize this problem, mainly by varying the analysis parameters of the used instrumentation, but without any relevant success. Some suggestions were then proposed for explaining the observed phenomenon, moreover possible solutions (e.g. by using a strong magnetic field or changing plasma gas to be more energetic) are discussed. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.