Sliding friction and wear property of a-C and a-CNx coatings against SiC balls in water

Fei Zhou, Koshi Adachi, Koji Kato

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63 Citations (Scopus)


The amorphous carbon coatings with and without nitrogen ion incorporation (a-CNx and a-C) were deposited on Si (100) wafers and SiC disks by using ion beam assisted deposition, and their composition, structure and chemical bonding were characterized by using Auger electronic spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), respectively. The friction and wear properties of the a-CNx coatings sliding against SiC ball in water were investigated and compared with those of the a-C coatings. The worn surfaces of the a-CNx coatings were observed by scanning electron microscopy and analyzed by XPS. The micro-analysis results showed that the a-CNx coatings contained 12 at.% nitrogen and the sp3 fraction in the a-CNx coatings was lower than that in the a-C coatings. There were two kinds of N 1s bonding states such as sp2C{double bond, short}N and sp3C-N in the a-CNx coatings. The nanohardness of the a-CNx coatings was 29 GPa, lower than that of the a-C coatings (34 GPa). The tribological tests in water showed the friction coefficients of the a-CNx/SiC tribo-pair were in the range of 0.02-0.05, smaller than those of the a-C/SiC tribopair (0.03-0.07), and the specific wear rates of the a-C coating and SiC ball in the a-C/SiC tribo-pair were slight larger than those in the a-CNx/SiC tribopair. The XPS analysis on the a-CNx coatings' wear track showed that the surface nitrogen concentration of the a-CNx on the wear track decreased. This indicated that the nitrogen removal would change the wear track surface structure, and then improve the tribological properties of the a-CNx coatings in water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-239
Number of pages9
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Aug 30


  • Carbon coatings
  • Carbon nitride coatings
  • Friction
  • Nanohardness
  • Water lubrication
  • Wear


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