Case 15106

Production of PVD Coatings Based on Nb(CN)


Physical vapor deposition (PVD), Coatings, Niobium Carbide, Niobium Carbonitrides, Nanocomposites, Nickel, Grain Refining


Industrial cutting or forming tools, as well as other wear-resistant mechanical components.


Need for harder, tougher, and coatings with properties that can be tailored according a given application, considering the wear mechanism, aiming at a better performance in tool applications.


This invention uses the traditional Physical Vapor Deposition method to create coatings with pure niobium carbide (NbC), niobium carbonitride (NbCN) and NbC particles distributed in a ductile nickel matrix. Hard coatings were produced by optimizing the PVD variables on sputtering NbC, as well as by creating a nanocomposite with grains of a few nanometer size when NbC and Ni were co-sputtered. Additions of N were used to control the hardness and the physical properties of NbC coatings.

  • New combinations of hardness, toughness, and physical properties to enable coatings with better performance in industrial tooling applications.
  • PVD is an established technique, suitable to a variety of substrates and industrial applications.

  • Professor Christopher Schuh (Department of Material Sciences and Engineering, MIT)
  • Dr. Rafael Mesquita (Department of Material Science and Engineering, MIT)

Intellectual Property:

US Patent Application 61/581438 filed on 12/29/2011


Rafael A Mesquita and Christopher A. Schuh, Niobium Carbide and Carbonitride Coatings Produced by Physical Vapor Deposition. To be submitted.

Rafael A Mesquita and Christopher A. Schuh, Nanocomposite PVD Coatings based on Niobium Carbide and Nickel. To be submitted.

Last revised: February 4, 2012

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