Effect of layer thickness on the high temperature mechanical properties of Al/SiC nanolaminates

S. Lotfian, C. Mayer, Nikhilesh Chawla, J. Llorca, A. Misra, J. K. Baldwin, J. M. Molina-Aldareguía

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Composite laminates on the nanoscale have shown superior hardness and toughness, but little is known about their high temperature behavior. The mechanical properties (elastic modulus and hardness) were measured as a function of temperature by means of nanoindentation in Al/SiC nanolaminates, a model metal-ceramic nanolaminate fabricated by physical vapor deposition. The influence of the Al and SiC volume fraction and layer thicknesses was determined between room temperature and 150 °C and, the deformation modes were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy, using a focused ion beam to prepare cross-sections through selected indents. It was found that ambient temperature deformation was controlled by the plastic flow of the Al layers, constrained by the SiC, and the elastic bending of the SiC layers. The reduction in hardness with temperature showed evidence of the development of interface-mediated deformation mechanisms, which led to a clear influence of layer thickness on the hardness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-267
Number of pages8
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue numberP2
StatePublished - Nov 28 2014


  • High temperature nanomechanics
  • Layer thickness
  • Metal-ceramic composite
  • Multilayers
  • Nanoindentation
  • Nanolaminate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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