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Evaluation of Thermal Degradation of DLC Film Using a Novel Raman Spectroscopy Technique

School of Mechanical Engineering, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025, China
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2018, 8(4), 143;
Received: 5 March 2018 / Revised: 28 March 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 16 April 2018
PDF [8321 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]


Diamond-like carbon (DLC) films are extensively used in various industries due to their superior protective and lubrication properties. However, DLC films including sp2 and sp3 carbon bonding are metastable materials, which can be thermally degraded (or graphitized) at elevated temperature. In this study, a novel Raman spectroscopy technique was developed to evaluate the in-situ thermal stability of DLC films. When a laser beam is applied onto a DLC film, the surface temperature can increase depending on the laser power, laser duration time, and surface reflectivity. Based on this laser heating concept, the Raman spectrum data of DLC films (i.e., G peak position and width) were obtained at the controlled Raman laser power, which enabled to determine the critical temperature to initiate the thermal degradation of DLC films. Two different designs of DLC film (i.e., types A and B with different initial sp2-to-sp3 ratio) were prepared and their thermal stability was evaluated using the proposed Raman spectroscopy technique. From the systematic data analysis and comparison, it could be observed that the type-A DLC film showed the significant change of Raman parameters (i.e., G peak position and width) at lower laser power value (=lower temperature) than the type-B DLC film, which indicated that the type-B DLC film had better thermal stability. View Full-Text
Keywords: DLC films; thermal stability; micro-Raman spectroscopy; graphitization DLC films; thermal stability; micro-Raman spectroscopy; graphitization

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He, M.; Yeo, C. Evaluation of Thermal Degradation of DLC Film Using a Novel Raman Spectroscopy Technique. Coatings 2018, 8, 143.

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