Elektrotechnik und Medientechnik
Edgar Lodermeier, J. Ding, T. Ma, Y. Liu, Günther Benstetter, J. Zhang, X. Chen, D. Liu
Surface and structural properties of ultrathin diamond-like carbon coatings
Diamond and Related Materials, vol. 12, pp. 1594-1600
Nanoscale wear resistance, friction, and electrical conduction tests using atomic force microscope (AFM) have been conducted on ultrathin diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings, including tetrahedral amorphous carbon (ta-C) deposited using pulsed cathodic arc (PCA) and filtered-PCA, and hydrogenated amorphous carbon (a-C:H) deposited using electron cyclotron resonance—chemical vapor deposition (ECR-CVD). The low-resistant layers at the surfaces of these thin DLC coatings were revealed by AFM-based nanowear tests. Their thickness is mainly determined by the deposition methods and does not show an obvious variation with the coating thickness decreasing from tens of nm to a few nm. The ∼3 nm ta-C coatings from PCA and filtered-PCA deposition were found to have the stable bulk structure beneath the thin (0.3–0.95 nm) surface layers. The ∼3 nm a-C:H coating from ECR-CVD had the extremely low load-carrying capacity and exhibited the evidence of coating delamination, which can be related to the thicker (1.5±0.1 nm) soft surface layers of a-C:H coatings. The results from conducting-AFM measurements indicate that a-C:H coatings have H and sp3 C enrichment surface layers while the soft surface layers of ta-C coatings have graphite-like structure. The nanoscale friction coefficients of these thin ta-C and a-C:H coatings were compared by AFM-based lateral force microscope. The lower friction coefficient of ta-C coatings can be attributed to the existence of graphite-like surface structure.