Characterization of DC magnetron sputtered diamond-like carbon (DLC) nano coating



Development in vapor deposition techniques over the last two decades has led to the introduction of many advanced coatings for metal-cutting tools. This paper examines the characteristics of multilayer Ti, TiN, and diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings deposited on standard tool substrates at varying sputtering parameters and conditions, such as power density, partial pressure, substrate temperature, and reactive gases. The characteristics of films were examined using an X-ray diffractometer, Raman microscope, surface profilometer (to measure the thickness of the coating), Rockwell hardness tester (to test adhesion), and a micro hardness tester. The pin-on-disc test setup was used to find the coefficient of friction of the coatings. The results indicated that a graded multilayer coating showed better adhesion to the substrates. It was observed that higher target power density resulted in an increase of micro hardness and crystalline planes of coating. Lattice constant matching among layers of coating, proper substrate preparation, and a sequence of cleaning processes are the crucial factors for the enhancement of adhesion strength.


Surface coating DLC Adhesion Micro hardness 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Holmberg K, Matthews A, Ronkainen H (1998) Coatings tribology—contact mechanisms and surface design. Tribology Int 31(1–3):107–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Davis HA, Wood BP, Munson CP, Bitteker LJ, Nastasi MA, Rej DJ, Waganaar WJ, Walter KC, Coates DM, Schleinitz HM (1998) Ion beam and plasma technology development for surface modification at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Mater Chem Phys 54:213–218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Springer RW, Catlett DS (1978) Structure and mechanical properties of Al/AlxOy vacuum deposited laminates. Thin Solid Films 54:97–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bell T, Dong H, Sun Y (1998) Realizing the potential of duplex surface engineering. Tribology Int 31(1–3):127–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Meletis EI, Erdemir A, Fenske GR (1995) Tribological characteristics of DLC films and duplex plasma nitriding/DLC coating treatments. Surf Coat Technol 73:39–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sproul WD (1996) Physical vapor deposition tool coatings. Surf Coat Technol 81:1–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Barshilia HC, Rajam KS (2004) Structure and properties of reactive DC magnetron sputtered TiN/NbN hard superlattices. Surf Coat Technol 183:174–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rao J, Cruz R, Lawson KJ, Nicholas JR (2004) Carbon and titanium diboride multilayer coatings. Diam Relat Mater 13:221–2225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Grimanelis D, Yang S, Bohme O, Roman E, Alberdi A, Teer DG, Albella JM (2002) Carbon based coatings for high temperature cutting tool applications. Diam Relat Mater 11:176–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Mills B (1996) Recent developments in cutting tool materials. J Mater Process Technol 56:16–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Voevodin AA, Capano MA, Laube SJP, Donley MS, Zabinski JS (1997) Design of a Ti/TiC/DLC functionally gradient coating based on studies of structural transitions in Ti-C thin films. Thin Solid Films 298:107–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    PalDey S, Deevi SC (2003) Single layer and multilayer wear resistant coatings of (TiAl)N: a review. Mater Sci Eng A 342:58–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    ASM International (1994) ASM metals handbook, vol. 5: surface engineering. ASM International, Metals Park, OhioGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mattox DM, McDonald JE (1963) Interface formation during thin film deposition. Appl Phys 34(8):2493–2494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kelly PJ, Arnell RD (2000) Magnetron sputtering: a review of recent developments and applications. Vacuum 56:159–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Musil J (1998) Recent advances in magnetron sputtering technology. Surf Coat Technol 100–101:280–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bewilogua K, Wittorf R, Thomsen H, Weber M (2004) DLC based coatings prepared by reactive d.c. magnetron sputtering. Thin Solid Films 447–448:142–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Robertson J (2002) Diamond like amorphous carbon. Mater Sci Eng R 37:129–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Dai M, Zhou K, Yuan Z, Ding Q, Fu Z (2000) The cutting performance of diamond and DLC-coated cutting tools. Diam Relat Mater 9:1753–1757CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ulrich S, Holleck H, Leiste H, Niederberger L, Nold E, Sell K, Stüber M, Ye J, Ziebert C, Pesch P, Sattel S (2005) Nano-scale, multi-functional coatings in the material system B-C-N-H. Surf Coat Technol 200(1–4):7–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Colton E (1996) Tougher coatings: a review of techniques and materials used to produce more durable films. CERAC Inc., Coating Material News Bulletin, vol 6, issue 2, April–June 1996Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kustas FM, Fehrehnbacher L, Komanduri R (1997) Nanocoatings on cutting tools for dry machining. Annals CIRP 46(1):39–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Tsuchiyama A, Shima Y, Hasuyama H (2002) Adhesive strength of DLC films prepared by ionization deposition. Surf Treatment 5:41–49Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Veprek S (1998) New development in superhard coatings: the superhard nanocrystalline-amorphous composites. Thin Solid Films 317:449–454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Veprek S, Argon AS (2001) Mechanical properties of super hard nanocomposites. Surf Coat Technol 146–147:175–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Veprek S, Maritza GJ, Heijman V, Karvankova P, Prochazka J (2005) Review: different approaches to superhard coatings and nanocomposites. Thin Solid Films 476:1–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    CarsIey JE, Ning J, Milligan WW, Hackney SA, Aifantis EC (1995) A simple, mixtures-based model for the grain size dependence of strength in nanophase metals. Nanostruct Mater 5(4):441–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Zhang S, Sun D, Fu Y, Du H (2005) Toughening of hard nanostructural thin films: a critical review. Surf Coat Technol 198:2–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Zhang ZL (1999) Transport theory of sputtering I: depth of origin of sputtered atoms. Nucl Instrum Meth B 149(3):272–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Bhusan B (2005) Modern tribology handbook, vol 2. Delta CRC Press, Boca Raton, FloridaGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Gefi M, Botempi E (2003) A new X-ray method for residual stress evaluation in coatings. Surf Treatment VI:317–331Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Panckow AN, Steffenhagen J, Wegener B, Dübner L, Lierath F (2001) Application of a novel vacuum-arc ion-plating technology for the design of advanced wear resistant coatings. Surf Coat Technol 138(1–2):71–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Subramanian C, Strafford KN, Wilks TP, Ward LP (1996) On the design of coating systems: metallurgical and other considerations. J Mater Process Technol 56(1–4):385–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Subramanian C, Strafford KN (1993) Review of multicomponent and multilayer coatings for tribological applications. Wear 165:85–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Loffler F (2003) Thin film characterization methods. Physikalisch Technische Bundeseantalt Germany Surface Treatment VI:225–244Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Sundaram VS (2006) Diamond like carbon film as a protective coating for high strength steel and titanium alloy. Surf Coat Technol 201:2707–2711CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Vidakis N, Antoniadis A, Bilalis N (2003) The VDI 3198 indentation test evaluation of a reliable qualitative control for layered compounds. J Mater Process Technol 143–144:481–485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Vandevelde TCS, Vandierendonck K, Van Stappen M, Du Mong W, Perremans P (1999) Cutting applications of DLC, hard carbon and diamond films. Surf Coat Technol 113(1–2):80–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Manufacturing Engineering Section, Department of Mechanical EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology MadrasMadrasIndia

Personalised recommendations