a1 Department of Physics, Government College University, Lahore 54000, Pakistan
a2 Centre for Advanced Studies in Physics (CASP), Government College University, Lahore 54000, Pakistan
The effect of argon concentration (10%–40%) on the surface properties of molybdenum is studied in nitrogen-argon mixture using 100 Hz pulsed dc glow discharge. The analysis is carried out by using X-ray diffractometer (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and Vickers microhardness tester to investigate surface properties of the nitrided samples. XRD results exhibit the formation of molybdenum nitrides. Crystallite size analysis and SEM morphology confirm the growth of nanostructured molybdenum nitride layers. Moreover, significant increase in surface hardness (by a factor of about two times) is found when the sample is treated for 30% argon in nitrogen-argon mixed plasma.
(Received May 07 2012)
(Revised June 27 2012)
(Accepted June 29 2012)
(Online publication August 17 2012)