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Kadletz, Peter M.; Motemani, Yahya; Iannotta, Joy; Salomon, Steffen; Khare, Chinmay; Grossmann, Lukas; Maier, Hans Juergen; Ludwig, Alfred; Schmahl, Wolfgang W. (2018): Crystallographic Structure Analysis of a Ti-Ta Thin Film Materials Library Fabricated by Combinatorial Magnetron Sputtering. In: ACS Combinatorial Science, Vol. 20, No. 3: pp. 137-150
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Ti–Ta thin films exhibit properties that are of interest for applications as microactuators and as biomedical implants. A Ti–Ta thin film materials library was deposited at T = 25 °C by magnetron sputtering employing the combinatorial approach, which led to a compositional range of Ti87Ta13 to Ti14Ta86. Subsequent high-throughput characterization methods permitted a quick and comprehensive study of the crystallographic, microstructural, and morphological properties, which strongly depend on the chemical composition. SEM investigation revealed a columnar morphology having pyramidal, sharp tips with coarser columns in the Ti-rich and finer columns in the Ta-rich region. By grazing incidence X-ray diffraction four phases were identified, from Ta-lean to Ta-rich: ω phase, α″ martensite, β phase, and a tetragonal Ta-rich phase (Ta(tetr)). The crystal structure and microstructure were analyzed by Rietveld refinement and clear trends could be determined as a function of Ta-content. The lattice correspondences between β as the parent phase and α″ and ω as derivative phases were expressed in matrix form. The β ⇌ α″ phase transition shows a discontinuity at the composition where the martensitic transformation temperatures fall below room temperature (between 34 and 38 at. % Ta) rendering it first order and confirming its martensitic nature. A short study of the α″ martensite employing the Landau theory is included for a mathematical quantification of the spontaneous lattice strain at room temperature (ϵ̂max = 22.4(6) % for pure Ti). Martensitic properties of Ti–Ta are beneficial for the development of high-temperature actuators with actuation response at transformation temperatures higher than 100 °C.