Superhard Tungsten Tetraboride Films Prepared by Pulsed Laser Deposition Method
Attempts to synthesize and/or theoretically predict new superhard materials are the subject of an intense research activity. The trials to deposit them in the form of films have just began. WB2 (77 wt % WB2 and 23 wt % WB4) and WB4 (65 wt % WB4 and 35 wt % WB2) polycrystalline bulk samples were obtained in this work via electron beam synthesis technique and, subsequently, used as targets for films preparation by the pulsed laser deposition method. The targets were irradiated by a frequency-doubled Nd:glass laser with a pulse duration of 250 fs. The films grown on SiO2 substrates at 600 °C were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron and atomic force microscopies, and Vickers microhardness technique. The deposited films are composed of WB4. The intrinsic film hardness, calculated according to the ?law-of-mixtures? model, lies in the superhardness region 42?50 GPa.