The European Physical Journal Applied Physics

Thin Films

Study of carbon concentration on the nanostructural and corrosion properties of Zr(C, N)/ss304 films

M. M. Larijania1, M. Alijannejada2, M. Yaria3, M. B. Zanjanbara2 and M. Ghorannevisa4

Agricultural, Medical and Industrial Research School, Nuclear Science & Technology Research Institute (NSTRI), P.O. Box 31585, -498, Karaj, Iran

Department of Physics, Karaj branch, Islamic Azad University, Karaj, Iran

Corrosion Lab., Materials Eng. Dep., Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

Plasma physics Research Centre, Islamic Azad University, P.O. Box 14665, -678, Tehran, Iran


The improvement of corrosion resistance of ZrN1-x C x films (0 ≤ x ≤ 1) on AISI stainless steel (ss) 304 is studied as a function of methane flow rate introduced into mixture of argon and nitrogen gases (Ar + N2). The films were deposited using ion beam sputtering technique at 400 °C and their corrosion resistance has been investigated via electrochemical test using 0.5 M H2SO4 solution. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were performed to study the micro and nano-structures of the films. Film stoichiometry was determined by Rutherford backscattering (RBS) technique using SIMNRA code. An average grain size of 7 nm was calculated for deposited films using Scherrer's formula. X-ray diffraction results showed the presence of a transition crystalline phase from ZrN to ZrC phase corresponding to the formation of ZrN1-x C x crystalline phase. The electrochemical test revealed that the film corrosion resistance increased with increasing x values. Furthermore, micrographs obtained by SEM did not indicate any damage on the sample surface due to corrosive agent attacks for x > 0.6.

(Received July 7 2008)

(Accepted January 27 2010)

(Online publication March 26 2010)