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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2017, Article ID 6368927, 13 pages
Research Article

Investigation of the Influence of Ni Doping on the Structure and Hardness of Ti-Ni-C Coatings

Department of Physical Electronics, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlarska 2, 611 37 Brno, Czech Republic

Correspondence should be addressed to P. VaĊĦina; zc.inum.scisyhp@anisav

Received 31 January 2017; Revised 16 April 2017; Accepted 30 May 2017; Published 6 July 2017

Academic Editor: Albano Cavaleiro

Copyright © 2017 J. Daniel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nanocomposite nc-TiC/a-C:H thin films exhibit unique combination of mechanical properties, high hardness, low friction, and wear. Selective doping by weak-carbide forming element can be used in order to specifically design the physical and chemical properties of nc-TiC/a-C:H coatings. In this paper we report on an effect of nickel addition on structure and hardness of the nc-TiC/a-C:H coatings. The effect of Ni alloying on the coating structure under conditions of DCMS and HiPIMS depositions was studied. The coating structure was correlated with the coating hardness. The grain size, the grain carbon vacancy concentration, and the mean grain separation were found to be the key parameters determining the coating hardness. Ni doping proved to have a significant effect on the coating microstructure which resulted in changes of the hardness of the deposited coatings.