Superhard self-lubricating AlMgB14 films for microelectromechanical devices

Thumbnail Image
Bastawros, Ashraf
Lo, C.C.
Constant, Alan
Russell, Alan
Major Professor
Committee Member
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Bastawros, Ashraf
Russell, Alan
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Organizational Unit
Aerospace Engineering

The Department of Aerospace Engineering seeks to instruct the design, analysis, testing, and operation of vehicles which operate in air, water, or space, including studies of aerodynamics, structure mechanics, propulsion, and the like.

The Department of Aerospace Engineering was organized as the Department of Aeronautical Engineering in 1942. Its name was changed to the Department of Aerospace Engineering in 1961. In 1990, the department absorbed the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics and became the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. In 2003 the name was changed back to the Department of Aerospace Engineering.

Dates of Existence

Historical Names

  • Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics (1990-2003)

Related Units

Organizational Unit
Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

Organizational Unit
Materials Science and Engineering
Materials engineers create new materials and improve existing materials. Everything is limited by the materials that are used to produce it. Materials engineers understand the relationship between the properties of a material and its internal structure — from the macro level down to the atomic level. The better the materials, the better the end result — it’s as simple as that.
Journal Issue
Is Version Of
Aerospace EngineeringAmes National LaboratoryMaterials Science and Engineering

Performance and reliability of microelectromechanical system(MEMS) components can be enhanced dramatically through the incorporation of protective thin-filmcoatings. Current-generation MEMSdevices prepared by the lithographie-galvanoformung-abformung (LIGA) technique employ transition metals such as Ni,Cu, Fe, or alloys thereof, and hence lack stability in oxidizing, corrosive, and/or high-temperature environments. Fabrication of a superhard self-lubricating coating based on a ternary boride compound AlMgB14 described in this letter has great potential in protective coatingtechnology for LIGA microdevices. Nanoindentation tests show that the hardness of AlMgB14films prepared by pulsed laser deposition ranges from 45 GPa to 51 GPa, when deposited at room temperature and 573 K, respectively. Extremely low friction coefficients of 0.04–0.05, which are thought to result from a self-lubricating effect, have also been confirmed by nanoscratch tests on the AlMgB14films. Transmission electron microscopy studies show that the as-deposited films are amorphous, regardless of substrate temperature; however, analysis of Fourier transform infrared spectra suggests that the higher substrate temperature facilitates the formation of the B12 icosahedral framework, therefore leading to the higher hardness.


The following article appeared in Applied Physics Letters 83 (2003): 2781 and may be found at doi: 10.1063/1.1615677.

Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2003