Atmospheric Plasma Deposition of Diamond-like Carbon Coatings

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There is great demand for thin functional coatings in the semiconductor, optics, electronics, medical, automotive and aerospace industries [1-13]. As fabricated components become smaller and more complex, the properties of the materials’ surface take on greater importance. Thin coatings play a key role in tailoring surfaces to give them the desired hardness, wear resistance, chemical inertness, and electrical characteristics. Diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings possess an array of desirable properties, including outstanding abrasion and wear resistance, chemical inertness, hardness, a low coefficient of friction and exceptionally high dielectric strength [14-22]. Diamond-like carbon is considered to be an amorphous material, containing a ... continued below

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Ladwig, Angela January 23, 2008.

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There is great demand for thin functional coatings in the semiconductor, optics, electronics, medical, automotive and aerospace industries [1-13]. As fabricated components become smaller and more complex, the properties of the materials’ surface take on greater importance. Thin coatings play a key role in tailoring surfaces to give them the desired hardness, wear resistance, chemical inertness, and electrical characteristics. Diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings possess an array of desirable properties, including outstanding abrasion and wear resistance, chemical inertness, hardness, a low coefficient of friction and exceptionally high dielectric strength [14-22]. Diamond-like carbon is considered to be an amorphous material, containing a mixture of sp2 and sp3 bonded carbon. Based on the percentage of sp3 carbon and the hydrogen content, four different types of DLC coatings have been identified: tetrahedral carbon (ta-C), hydrogenated amorphous carbon (a-C:H) hard, a-C:H soft, and hydrogenated tetrahedral carbon (ta-C:H) [20,24,25]. Possessing the highest hardness of 80 GPa, ta-C possesses an sp3 carbon content of 80 to 88u%, and no appreciable hydrogen content whereas a-C:H soft possesses a hardness of less than 10 GPa, contains an sp3 carbon content of 60% and a hydrogen content between 30 to 50%. Methods used to deposit DLC coatings include ion beam deposition, cathodic arc spray, pulsed laser ablation, argon ion sputtering, and plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition [73-83]. Researchers contend that several advantages exist when depositing DLC coatings in a low-pressure environment. For example, ion beam processes are widely utilized since the ion bombardment is thought to promote denser sp3-bonded carbon networks. Other processes, such as sputtering, are better suited for coating large parts [29,30,44]. However, the deposition of DLC in a vacuum system has several disadvantages, including high equipment cost and restrictions on the size and shape of material that may be treated. The deposition of DLC at atmospheric pressure has been demonstrated by several researchers. Izake, et al [53] and Novikov and Dymont [54] have demonstrated an electrochemical process that is carried out with organic compounds such as methanol and acetylene dissolved in ammonia. This process requires that the substrates be immersed in the liquid [53-54]. The atmospheric pressure deposition of DLC was also demonstrated by Kulik, et al. utilizing a plasma torch. However, this process requires operating temperatures in excess of 800 oC [55]. In this report, we investigate the deposition of diamond-like carbon films using a low temperature, atmospheric pressure plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) process. The films were characterized by solid-state carbon-13 nuclear magnetic resonance (13C NMR) and found to have a ratio of sp2 to sp3 carbon of 43 to 57%. The films were also tested for adhesion, coefficient of friction, and dielectric strength.

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  • Journal Name: Diamond and Related Materials, est. publication date: Spring 2008

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  • Report No.: KCP-613-8404
  • Grant Number: DE-AC04-01AL66850
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 952952
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc933097

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  • January 23, 2008

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  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 16, 2016, 12:32 p.m.

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Ladwig, Angela. Atmospheric Plasma Deposition of Diamond-like Carbon Coatings, article, January 23, 2008; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc933097/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.