Antibacterial and tribological properties of TaN-Cu, TaN-Ag, and TaN-(Ag,Cu) nanocomposite thin films

J. H. Hsieh*, T. H. Yeh, S. Y. Hung, S. Y. Chang, W. Wu, C. Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

35 Scopus citations


In this study, attempts were made to prepare and characterize TaN-(Cu,Ag) nanocomposite films by using a hybrid approach combining reactive co-sputtering and rapid thermal annealing at various temperatures to induce the formation of soft metal particles in the matrix or on the surface. The films' properties and their antiwear and antibacteria behaviors were compared with those previously studied TaN-Cu and TaN-Ag films. All three types of TaN-(soft metal) films showed good tribological properties due to the lubricious Ag and/or Cu layers. It was also found that the antibacteria efficiency of TaN-(Ag,Cu) film against either Escherichia coli or Staphylococcus aureus could be much improved, comparing with that of TaN-Ag or TaN-Cu film. The synergistic effect due to the coexistence of Ag and Cu is obvious. The annealing temperature used to develop TaN-(Cu,Ag) films with good antibacterial and antiwear behaviors could be as low as 250 °C. The lowering of the annealing temperature made these films applicable onto low-melting-point materials, such as polymers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2999-3003
Number of pages5
JournalMaterials Research Bulletin
Issue number10
StatePublished - 10 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • A. composites
  • A. thin films
  • B. sputtering


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