Factors affecting growth defect formation in cathodic arc evaporated coatings

Robert R. Aharonov, Manish Chhowalla, Suranjeeta Dhar, Raymond P. Fontana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


The origin of the conical features on the surfaces of arc evaporated hard compound coatings was investigated. A simple metallographic technique was employed to show that these conical features are growth defects made of the coating material (TiN in our case) precipitated by macroparticles of the cathode material, and not the macroparticles themselves. The effect of bias voltage characteristics, such as the amplitude (for d.c. voltage), frequency and duty cycle (for pulsed voltage), on the evolution of defects was also investigated. An increase in the amplitude or duty cycle resulted in a decrease in the defect density, Ra and the surface area covered with the defects. A simple explanation for the phenomena observed is suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-343
Number of pages10
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1996


  • Cathodic arc
  • Growth defects
  • Macroparticles
  • Pulsed bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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