In this study we developed composite coatings consisting of amorphous hydrogenated carbon (a-C:H) and molybdenum-disulfide (MoS2), and clarified their microstructure. In addition, we interpreted the tribological properties of the composite coatings in the viewpoint of a deposition-induced microstructural modification. The coatings were produced by the hybrid deposition technique of RF-generated methane and argon plasma and DC magnetron co-sputtering of MoS2 target. The deposition parameter investigated in this study was methane flow rate. Structural analyses were performed using a transmission electron microscope (TEM) and an atomic force microscope (AFM). Friction tests were conducted using a ball-on-disk type tribometer. From an electron micrograph, it was confirmed that nano-clusters were embedded into an amorphous carbon host matrix. Surface roughness of the composite coating was ∼ 0.25 nm in Ra compared to 5.0 nm in Ra of sputtered MoS2. The concentration measurements were performed, and the results show that the sulfur and molybdenum concentration ratio, [S]/[Mo], is ∼ 0.9, which indicates that the amount of sulfur was reduced due to the discharged plasma. In friction tests, composite coatings showed high friction in a vacuum condition. It was considered that lubricant MoS2 lamellar structures showing super-low friction in a vacuum condition during friction could not be formed between ball and coating during friction because of the lack of sulfur in embedded clusters.
- Amorphous carbon
- CVD-PVD hybrid technique