Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

Studies on diamond-like carbon and novel diamond-like carbon polymer hybrid coatings deposited with filtered pulsed arc discharge method

Esa Alakoski

Doctoral dissertation, November 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine and ORTON Orthopaedic Hospital, ORTON Research Institute, The Invalid Foundation and Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland and Department of Physical Sciences, Accelerator Laboratory, University of Helsinki.

The main obstacle for the application of high quality diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings has been the lack of adhesion to the substrate as the coating thickness is increased. The aim of this study was to improve the filtered pulsed arc discharge (FPAD) method. With this method it is possible to achieve high DLC coating thicknesses necessary for practical applications. The energy of the carbon ions was measured with an optoelectronic time-of-flight method. An in situ cathode polishing system used for stabilizing the process yield and the carbon ion energies is presented. Simultaneously the quality of the coatings can be controlled. To optimise the quality of the deposition process a simple, fast and inexpensive method using silicon wafers as test substrates was developed. This method was used for evaluating the suitability of a simplified arc-discharge set-up for the deposition of the adhesion layer of DLC coatings. A whole new group of materials discovered by our research group, the diamond-like carbon polymer hybrid (DLC-p-h) coatings, is also presented. The parent polymers used in these novel coatings were polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). The energy of the plasma ions was found to increase when the anode-cathode distance and the arc voltage were increased. A constant deposition rate for continuous coating runs was obtained with an in situ cathode polishing system. The novel DLC-p-h coatings were found to be water and oil repellent and harder than any polymers. The lowest sliding angle ever measured from a solid surface, 0.15 ▒ 0.03░, was measured on a DLC-PDMS-h coating. In the FPAD system carbon ions can be accelerated to high energies (≈ 1 keV) necessary for the optimal adhesion (the substrate is broken in the adhesion and quality test) of ultra thick (up to 200 Ám) DLC coatings by increasing the anode-cathode distance and using high voltages (up to 4 kV). An excellent adhesion can also be obtained with the simplified arc-discharge device. To maintain high process yield (5Ám/h over a surface area of 150 cm2) and to stabilize the carbon ion energies and the high quality (sp3 fraction up to 85%) of the resulting coating, an in situ cathode polishing system must be used. DLC-PDMS-h coating is the superior candidate coating material for anti-soiling applications where also hardness is required.

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Last updated 11.10.2006

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