In this study, a supertoughness effect is predicted through systematic first-principle calculations on structures and mechanical properties of transition metal nitride superlattices TiN/MN (M = V, Nb, Ta, Mo, and W). The TiN/WN superlattice has an in-plane Cauchy pressure as high as 296 GPa, which is 348% larger than that in Ti0.5W0.5N solid solutions. Supertoughness is also significantly affected by the coupling between macro- and micro-distortions in addition to previously reported valence electron concentration and atomic ordering effects. Present results indicate a route to develop superhard and supertough superlattice coatings.
Wang, H., Zeng, H., Li, Q., & Shen, J. (2016). Superlattice supertoughness of TiN/MN (M = V, Nb, Ta, Mo, and W): First-principles study. Thin Solid Films, 607, 59–66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsf.2016.03.061