Alumina thin film coatings of 500 nm thickness were deposited on silicon substrates by AC inverted magnetron sputtering technique at 350°C. The effect of deposition power and oxygen partial pressure on the hardness and frictional performances of the alumina coatings were investigated using a nanoindenter. The film hardness varied with both the power and the oxygen partial pressure with the power had more pronounced effect. The maximum hardness of 22 GPa was obtained at an optimum power of 5 kW and oxygen partial pressure of 40%. The coefficient of friction decreased with the increase in hardness.

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