Tribological properties of multilayer DLC/W-DLC films on Si

Hiroyuki Miki, Takanori Takeno, Toshiyuki Takagi

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Multilayer films of diamond-like carbon (DLC) and tungsten-containing diamond-like carbon (W-DLC) films were deposited onto silicon wafers using radio frequency chemical vapor deposition (RFCVD) and a magnetron sputtering method. The W-DLC layer was deposited on the silicon wafer with less than 60 W magnetron output. The DLC layer was then deposited on the W-DLC layer. Surface morphology was investigated by atomic force microscopy and the film structure by transmission electron microscopy. Friction tests for multilayered films were performed in a nitrogen atmosphere at room temperature using a ball-on-disk tribometer. A conventional stainless steel ball was used for the test. The surface profiles seen by atomic force microscopy showed that round-shaped clusters of around 100 nm were observed in just the single W-DLC layer. These clusters were considered to be tungsten or tungsten-carbon composites. In the case of the DLC/W-DLC multilayered structure, the top DLC layer covered the W-DLC single layer and smoothed the surface of the W-DLC film. Friction tests demonstrated that the friction coefficient of the W-DLC single layer was above 0.6 and increased gradually as the number of cycle increased. The W-DLC films partially broke down during our measurements. However the DLC/W-DLC multilayer films showed stable friction properties and were observed for up to 100,000 cycles. Their friction coefficient was typically less than 0.1 at 10 cm/s rotating speed. The DLC/W-DLC multilayer films exhibited stable low friction properties in a long term test under a nitrogen atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5414-5418
Number of pages5
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jun 30


  • Ball-on-disk
  • Metal-containing diamond-like carbon (Me-DLC)
  • Multilayer
  • Tribological properties


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