Titanium nitride (TiN) thin films are coated on HT-9 and MA957 fuel cladding tubes and bars to explore their mechanical strength, thermal stability, diffusion barrier properties, and thermal conductivity properties. The ultimate goal is to implement TiN as an effective diffusion barrier to prevent the inter-diffusion between the nuclear fuel and the cladding material, and thus lead to a longer lifetime of the cladding tubes. Mechanical tests including hardness and scratch tests for the samples before and after thermal cycle tests show that the films have a high hardness of 28GPa and excellent adhesion properties despite the thermal treatment. Thermal conductivity measurements demonstrate that the thin TiN films have very minimal impact on the overall thermal conductivity of the MA957 and HT-9 substrates, i.e., the thermal conductivity of the uncoated HT-9 and MA957 substrates was 26.25 and 28.44 W m-1 K-1, and that of the coated ones was 26.21 and 28.38W m-1 K-1, respectively. A preliminary Ce diffusion test on the couple of Ce/TiN/HT-9 suggests that TiN has excellent material compatibility and good diffusion barrier properties.