Highly ionized and energized coating deposition processes from one of the dry routes such as HiPIMS (High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering) produce layers with very special properties (denser microstructure and reduced surface roughness) often under deposition conditions corresponding to non-thermodynamic equilibrium. Ionic bombardment of the substrate by metallic species results in elemental implantation, making the interface more diffuse and reinforcing it by the growth of stable phases. This work will focus on an essential aspect of the final component: the interface between the coating and the substrate. It controls the adhesion between the coating and the substrate and affects the component properties.

We will be interested in the formation of the interface during the deposition process and the influence of the process parameters on it. Our objective is to control the interface during the deposition process in order to optimize the behavior of the coated component under its conditions of use. The influence of two specific aspects of the process will be studied: in situ and pre-deposition plasma etching of the substrate and post-deposition ionic bombardment. This study requires precise knowledge of the interface exact nature, its thermodynamic stability, its composition, crystalline phases, microstructure, and types of bindings or chemical environments. Fine characterizations of the interface will be engaged.


The thesis is a CEA/IMN/NTU collaborative project and takes place both at CEA Saclay (for 2 years) and at NTU Singapore (for 1 year).


Angélique CHABANON


Directors: Fanny BALBAUD (CEA), Pierre-Yves JOUAN (IMN), Dong ZHILI (NTU)