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A Chemical, Mechanical, and Tribological Analysis of DLC Coatings Deposited by Magnetron Sputtering

Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche, Informatiche e Matematiche–Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Via Campi 213/A, 41125 Modena, Italy
Istituto CNR-NANO S3, Via Campi 213/A, 41125 Modena, Italy
Centro Interdipartimentale per la Ricerca Applicata e i Servizi nella Meccanica Avanzata e nella Motoristica Intermech-Mo.Re., Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Via Vignolese 905/b, 41125 Modena, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Lubricants 2019, 7(4), 38;
Received: 16 March 2019 / Revised: 22 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
PDF [5962 KB, uploaded 25 April 2019]


Diamond-like carbon is one of the most studied and used solid lubricants on the market. Despite this large use and its outstanding mechanical and tribological properties, there are still some unclear aspects related to its self-lubricant properties, and some drawbacks in the deposition methods. We deposited “soft” DLC films on Si(100), iron, and stainless steel substrates by PVD magnetron sputtering technique with a Cr/CrN adhesive interlayer. The DLC films were characterized from a chemical, mechanical, and tribological point of view. Our aim was to connect the coating chemical and mechanical characteristics to the different conditions used for the deposition, such as discharge power and substrate–target distance. We found a stronger sp3 dependence on the discharge power for DLC deposited closer to the target. The tribological results did not depend on the chosen substrate–target distance, but rather on the hardness of the substrate. This could be ascribed to the better mechanical coupling of soft DLC films on harder substrates. View Full-Text
Keywords: diamond-like carbon; solid lubricants; tribology; Raman spectroscopy; PVD diamond-like carbon; solid lubricants; tribology; Raman spectroscopy; PVD

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Fiaschi, G.; Rota, A.; Ballestrazzi, A.; Marchetto, D.; Vezzalini, E.; Valeri, S. A Chemical, Mechanical, and Tribological Analysis of DLC Coatings Deposited by Magnetron Sputtering. Lubricants 2019, 7, 38.

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