Characterization of DC Magnetron Sputtered Copper Thin Film on Aluminium Touch Surface
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Hospital care-assisted infections introduce problems like prolonged hospital stay, additional financial burden and higher death rate. Since copper is registered by US Environmental Protection Agency as the only solid antimicrobial metal, it could be used in hospital touch surfaces. In the present work, copper has been deposited on the aluminium substrate by DC magnetron sputtering method with different target power. Prior to the coating, the substrate has undergone double zincation process. The coating has been characterized by XRD, SEM, TEM, scratch hardness test and microhardness test. From the TEM micrographs, the grain size has been found to decrease from 49 to 18 nm on increasing the deposition power from 50 to 150 W. Along with the decrease in the grain size, the mechanical properties like scratch hardness and microhardness of the coating have been increased. The preferred growth along  direction observed in XRD analysis is responsible for the increase in the hardness of the coating apart from the presence of the nano-grains. The SEM image of the coating shows nodular morphology which enhances the surface area.
KeywordsSputtering Copper coating Microstructural characterization Nano-grains
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