Y. Gaillard, V.J. Rico, E. Jiménez-Piqué, A.R. González-Elipe
Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 42 (2009) 145305 (9)
doi: 10.1088/0022-3727/42/14/145305

A series of nanoindentation tests has been carried out with TiO2 films produced by physical vapour deposition (PVD) under different conditions. Films with different microstructures and crystallographic structures have been prepared by changing experimental parameters such as the temperature of the substrate, the deposition angle (by the so-called glancing angle physical vapour deposition, GAPVD) or by exposing the growing film to a beam of accelerated ions. The obtained results of hardness and Young’s modulus depict interesting correlations with the microstructure and structure of the films providing a general picture for the relationships between these characteristics and their mechanical properties. Different models have been used to extract Young’s modulus and hardness parameters from the experimental nanoindentation curves. The obtained results are critically discussed to ascertain the ranges of validity of each procedure according to the type of sample investigated.

Nanoindentation of TiO2 thin films with different microstructures