High temperature nanoindentation of Cu–TiN nanolaminates

Jeffrey M. Wheeler, Cayla Harvey, Nan Li, Amit Misra, Nathan A. Mara, Xavier Maeder, Johann Michler, Siddhartha Pathak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We examined the high temperature indentation response of physical vapor deposited Cu–TiN multilayered nanocomposites with layer thicknesses ranging from 5 nm to 200 nm. A decrease in hardness with increasing temperature was observed, along with a strong correlation between the hardness and the nanometer-level TiN grain sizes, rather than layer thickness. The apparent activation energies calculated from the high temperature indentation experiments indicated that, for all but the smallest layer thicknesses, the deformation of copper in the nanolaminates dominate the plastic response in these composites. In the finest layer thicknesses, a decrease in the apparent activation energy value indicated possible co-deformation of Cu and TiN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number140522
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering: A
StatePublished - Feb 15 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Activation energy
  • High temperature deformation
  • Indentation
  • Multilayers
  • Nanolaminates


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