In this work, TiO2films on 316L stainless steel have been formed by non-reactive magnetron sputtering of TiO2target. The effect of a titanium underlayer on the crystalline phase of the TiO2film has been investigated in terms of phase evolution, film morphology, corrosion resistance, adhesion strength, hardness and tribological characteristics. Results showed that the titanium underlayer has a significant effect on the phase of the TiO2film. Without this underlayer, an anatase TiO2film is produced, in consistence with many other investigations. However, it is found that with a titanium underlayer, a rutile TiO2film can be directly formed on the substrate. The thickness of the interface layer affects the crystallinity of the rutile film. By controlling the underlayer thickness, the resultant rutile film crystal structure and morphology could be changed accordingly. At an optimized state, the rutile coating shows much improved adhesion, friction, wear and corrosion properties. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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