- Dielectrics, piezoelectrics and ferroelectrics
- Materials physics not elsewhere classified
Multicomponent materials have a wide application field. Examples are hard coatings (e.g. TiAlN), transparent conductive oxides (TCO) (e.g. CuAlO2), photovoltaics (e.g. CuInGaSe or CIGS). An interesting example of multicomponent materials are high entropy alloys which are metallic compounds containing more than six metallic elements in equimolar ratios. An example is AlCoCrCuFeNi. Their anti-adhesive properties in combination with high hardness and chemical stability make them ideal candidates to replace the presently used fluorocarbons such as Teflon. To reach this goal, thin films of these materials must be deposited under well controlled conditions using a flexible and scalable technique. Magnetron sputtering reaches these requirements, and this deposition technique is chosen for this project. The properties of the high entropy alloys in thin film form depend not only on their complex composition but also on the morphology of the thin films. This makes optimization of the thin film properties a hard job. The project will tackle this problem by decoupling the influence of the composition from the influence of the growth conditions. The compositional influence will be studied by changing the composition at the source level, limiting the change of the growth conditions to a minimum. By measuring the energy which reaches the substrate per time unit with a specially designed probe, the influence of the growth conditions will be monitored. These two different research axes will lead to a (en)trophy combination to unravel the growth mechanism of these materials.