Titanium nitride Characteristics and Application


Jul 11, 2023

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What is Titanium nitride (TiN)? Titanium nitride (TiN) is a very hard ceramic, sometimes called Tinite, that’s used to improve the surface properties of aluminum, titanium alloys, steels, carbides, and steels.
The thin coating of TiN, due to its golden color, is used as a protective and hardening layer for cutting and sliding surfaces. In addition, it can also be used as a nontoxic outer surface for medical implant. In the majority of applications, a thin coating less than 5 millimeters is used.

Titanium Nitride Characteristics
Titanium Nitride has a Vickers Hardness of 1800-2100. It also has a 251 GPa Modulus of Elasticity, a 9.35×10-6 K-1 Thermal Expansion Coefficient, and a 5.6 K superconducting Transition Temperature.
Titanium Nitride is oxidized at 800 degC when in a normal environment. Titanium Nitride appears golden when coated and has a brownish color. Laboratory tests show that it is chemically inert at 20 degC. However, with increasing temperatures, concentrated acid solutions can slowly attack the material. Titanium Nitride has a coefficient friction of 0.4-0.9, depending on its surface finish and substrate. The typical TiN structure is NaCl type with a 1:1 stoichiometry. However, TiNx with x between 0.6 and 1.2 are thermodynamically stabile.
TiN superconducts at cryogenic temperature, with a critical temperature of up to 6.0K for single crystals. Superconductivity in thin-film TiN has been studied extensively, with the superconducting properties strongly varying depending on sample preparation, up to complete suppression of superconductivity at a superconductor-insulator transition. After a thin layer of TiN had been chilled to almost absolute zero, it was transformed into the world’s first superinsulator. Its resistance increased by a factor 100,000.

Titanium nitride Applications
TiN coated drill bit
Gerber pocketknife coated with dark gray TiCN
It is well known that TiN The coating improves the lifetime of machine tooling such as milling and drill bits by up to three times.
TiN is widely used for decorating automotive trim and costume jewelry because of the metallic gold colour. TiN can also be used on door and plumbing hardware as a decorative top-layer, often with nickel or chromium-plated substrates. As a protective coating, TiN is widely used in aerospace applications and for military purposes. It’s also used to protect the suspension forks on bicycles and motorbikes as well the shock shafts on radio-controlled vehicles. As it is so durable, TiN can also be used to coat the moving components of semi-automatic weapons and rifles. The coating is not only extremely durable but also very smooth. This makes it extremely easy to remove the carbon buildup. TiN, which is non-toxic and meets FDA guidelines has been used to coat medical devices, such as orthopedic bone saw blades and scalpel knives, when edge retention and sharpness were important. The TiN coating has also been used to coat implanted medical implants (including hip replacement implants).
Although thin films are not as visible, they still have a similar effect. TiN In microelectronics they are used as diffusion barriers to stop the diffusion of metal into silicon. TiN is classified in this context as a “barrier metal” (electrical conductivity 25 uO*cm), despite the fact that it is a clear ceramic when viewed from a chemistry and mechanical perspective. Recently, chip designs in 45 nm and beyond have used TiN to improve transistor performance. In conjunction with gate dielectrics such as HfSiO has a greater permittivity than SiO2 and can therefore be used to reduce gate lengths with low leakage. TiN thin films may also be used to coat zirconium-alloys for accident resistant nuclear fuels.
Due to their high biostability TiN layers can be used for electrodes in bioelectronics applications such as in intelligent implants and in-vivo sensors that must resist the severe corrosion caused body fluids. TiN electrodes have already been applied in the subretinal prosthesis project as well as in biomedical microelectromechanical systems (BioMEMS).

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