Composite titanium carbonitride (TiCN) thin films deposited on AZ31 by DC/RF magnetron sputtering were vacuum annealed at different temperatures. Vacuum annealing yields the following on the structure and properties of the films: the grain grows and the roughness increases with an increase of annealing temperature, the structure changes from polycrystalline to single crystal, and the distribution of each element becomes more uniform. The residual stress effectively decreases compared to the as-deposited film, and their corrosion resistance is much improved owing to the change of structure and fusion of surface defects, whereas the wear-resistance is degraded due to the grain growth and the increase of surface roughness under a certain temperature.
Li, H., Rong, S., Sun, P., & Wang, Q. (2017). Microstructure, residual stress, corrosion and wear resistance of vacuum annealed TiCN/TiN/Ti films deposited on AZ31. Metals, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.3390/met7010005