A hybrid magnetron sputtering/pulsed laser deposition process was used to grow nanocrystalline yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) embedded in an amorphous YSZ/metal matrix. This nanocomposite design reduced friction and improved the toughness of YSZ. Films containing both silver and molybdenum exhibited friction coefficients between 0.2 and 0.4 in air (40% relative humidity) against silicon nitride balls at temperatures between 25° C and 700 °C. Additional solid lubricants reduced the friction coefficient to <0.2 for over 10000 cycles at all temperatures. A multilayer film architecture was developed to further enhance the lifetime of the adaptive coatings. Electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy were used to correlate adaptive behavior at different temperatures to the composition and structure of the films.

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