Mechanical and tribological properties of MoS2 alloyed with Al and Au have been analysed using pin-on-disk. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and TEM to determine the relationship between coating structure and performance. Physical effects by the alloying partner, atomic percentage and variation of deposition parameters on the final behaviour of the coatings are evaluated. XRD and TEM analyses indicate two different structures exist in the MoS2 alloys studied: MoS2–Au alloys deposited from a compound target exhibited periodic distributed particles of 2.5–6 nm while MoS2–Al coatings evolved with a multi-layer architecture. XRD analysis indicates interfacial mixing and roughness present within the individual layers are greatest near 1 mTorr
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