Substrate and material transfer effects on the surface chemistry and texture of diamond-like carbon deposited by plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition

B J Jones, J J Ojeda

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Diamond-like carbon ({DLC}), a thin amorphous carbon film, has many uses in tribological systems. Exploiting alternative substrates and interlayers can enable the control of the hardness and modulus of the multilayer system and improve wear or friction properties. We used {XPS} and atomic force microscopy to examine {DLC} that had been concurrently coated on an epoxy interlayer and a steel substrate by plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition. sp 2/sp 3 ratios were calculated both by the deconvolution of the {XPS} C1s line and by the analysis of the C {KLL} Auger spectrum. Altering the substrate causes changes in the carbon bonding configuration, evident with the same trend through both analysis methods, although with differing absolute values, related to hydrogen and oxygen content. There is significant variation in the microscale surface texture, exhibited by both average roughness values and size and uniformity of surface asperities. This suggests that alteration to the film surface structure is a factor to be considered in addition to interface adhesion, hardness and elastic modulus in investigating substrates and interlayers for tribological coatings. Examination of a {DLC} film separately produced on a steel substrate, in comparison with that produced concurrently with a {DLC} coating on epoxy, shows the possibility of effects on the chemistry of the film through transfer of material from adjacent samples within the plasma deposition, related to heating, outgassing or sputtering processes. The possibility of such contamination has implications in coating parameter design and coating of multiple samples with plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition. Copyright ?? 2012 John Wiley \& Sons, Ltd. Copyright ?? 2012 John Wiley \& Sons, Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1187-1192
    Number of pages6
    JournalSurface and Interface Analysis
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Absolute values
    • Alternative substrates
    • Amorphous carbon
    • Analysis method
    • Atomic force microscopy
    • Carbon bonding
    • Carbon films
    • Chemical vapour deposition
    • Coating parameters
    • Coatings
    • Composite films
    • Diamond-like carbon
    • Diamonds
    • {DLC} coatings
    • {DLC} film
    • Epoxy interlayers
    • Friction properties
    • Hardness
    • Hardness and elastic modulus
    • Hydrogen
    • Interface adhesion
    • Interfaces (materials)
    • {KLL} Auger spectra
    • Material transfers
    • Micro-scales
    • Multi-layer system
    • Multiple samples
    • Oxygen content
    • Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition
    • plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition
    • Sputtering process
    • Steel substrate
    • substrate effects
    • Substrates
    • Surface asperities
    • Surface chemistry
    • surface morphology
    • Surfaces
    • Surface textures
    • Textures
    • Tribological coatings
    • Tribological systems
    • Tribology
    • Vapors
    • X ray photoelectron spectroscopy


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