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01.02.2013 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 2/2013

Tribology Letters 2/2013

Effects of Pre-heat Treatment on Tribological Properties of DLC Film

Zeitschrift:
Tribology Letters > Ausgabe 2/2013
Autoren:
Yuuki Tokuta, Masahiro Kawaguchi, Aya Shimizu, Shinya Sasaki

Abstract

A diamond-like carbon (DLC) film exhibits excellent tribological properties. This type of film has an amorphous structure that is generally composed of hydrogen and carbon atoms, and it is the structure of sp2- and sp3-hybridized orbital carbon which brings about the extraordinary tribological properties of the DLC film. It is known that heating causes structural changes in a DLC film, and pre-heat treatment greatly affects the various properties of a DLC film. In this study, we focus on the effects of pre-heat treatment on the friction and wear properties of a hydrogenated DLC film and discuss the structural changes in the film. After pre-heat treatment, the tribological properties were evaluated using a ball-on-disk sliding tester. Our findings indicated that the friction and wear properties of the DLC film were improved by pre-heating up to 500 °C. An as-deposited DLC film had a friction coefficient of approximately 0.15, whereas it was approximately 0.03 for a film pre-heated at 500 °C. The structure of the DLC film was analyzed using micro-laser Raman spectroscopy. The analytic results of the Raman spectroscopy of the film surface showed that the G peak position had shifted toward a higher wave number. This result suggested that hydrogen had evolved from the DLC film because of pre-heat treatment. The half bandwidth of the G peak shifted toward a lower wave number with increases in the pre-heating temperature. This indicated that graphitization of the DLC film had been induced by pre-heat treatment. From these findings, we consider that the hydrogen evolution induced structural changes. Line analysis using micro-laser Raman spectroscopy was performed on a cross section of the pre-heated DLC film. The line analysis showed structural changes which were induced by hydrogen evolution, on the top of the DLC film. On the other hand, hydrogen evolution and graphitization were prevented inside the film, indicating that a gradient structure had been generated by pre-heat treatment. The low friction coefficient of the pre-heated DLC film was caused by graphitization of the DLC film surface. The graphite layer on the top of the film would induce lower shearing resistance at the sliding interface. This gradient structure of the DLC film plays an important role in improving the tribological properties of the pre-heated DLC film.

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