Oxidation of MoSi2/SiC nanolayered composite

J. Hirvonen, Pauli Torri, Reijo Lappalainen, Jari Likonen, Harriet Kung, J. Jarvis, Michael Nastasi

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    The oxidation behavior of a nanolayered MoSi2/SiC composite material was determined at the temperature range of 400–900 °C in wet oxidation conditions. The samples were produced in the form of thin films using a sputtering technique from two different sources, and a rotating substrate holder, onto silicon single crystals and low carbon steel.
    For comparison, the oxidations of both constituents, MoSi2 and SiC, produced with the same sputtering technique, were measured separately. The microstructure of the MoSi2/SiC samples was determined with high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), and the composition of the sputtered samples was measured using backscattering (BS) of protons.
    For quantitative determination of oxidation, the nuclear reaction 16O(d, p)17O was utilized. Oxide layers were also analyzed using a secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and the appearance of the oxidized surface with a scanning electron microscopy (SEM). As expected, the SiC films had both the lowest initial oxidation and steady state oxidation rate.
    The results show that the oxidation behavior of the MoSi2/SiC nanolayered composite material differs from that of both its constituents and involves a degradation mechanism of its own, resulting in the highest oxidation during the initial phase of the oxidation.
    A steady-state oxidation rate was observed after the initial transient phase to be the highest for the metastable C40 structure of the single MoSi2 layer. The oxidation rate of the nanolayered structure was retarded by the SiC layers. No signs of pest disintegration were observed on either of the MoSi2 containing coatings during the steady-state phase of the oxidation at 500 °C up to 40 h. Our results show that the oxidation of nanolayered structures can be only in part explained by the oxidation behavior of the constituents and that during the steady-state oxidation of the nanolayered structure the oxidation rate is largely determined by the constituent with the lowest oxidation rate and by the layered structure.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)965-973
    JournalJournal of Materials Research
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1998
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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