Tribochemical reaction of hydrogenated diamond-like carbon films: A clue to understand the environmental dependence

Se Jun Park, Kwang Ryeol Lee, Dae Hong Ko

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55 Citations (Scopus)


Tribological behavior of hydrogenated diamond-like carbon (DLC) films and Si incorporated DLC (Si-DLC) films deposited on Si (100) wafer by r.f.-plasma assisted chemical vapor deposition were investigated by ball-on-disk type tribometry in various environments. The friction tests were performed in ambient air of relative humidity ranging from 0% to 90% or dry oxygen environment. We focused on the tribochemical reactions by analyzing chemical composition, chemical bond structure and agglomerated shape of the debris. High and unstable friction behavior was observed in both humid air and dry oxygen environments. In these environments, Auger spectrum analysis showed that the debris contained large amounts of Fe. Significant incorporation of Fe in the debris resulted from the wear of the steel ball, which might be enhanced by the surface oxidation of the ball. These results show that the humidity dependence of friction coefficient is not an inherent tribological property of DLC films but results from the surface reaction of the steel ball in humid environments. Two possible reasons for the Fe rich debris affecting the friction behavior are presented. Reduced dependence of the friction coefficient on the relative humidity observed for Si-DLC films is discussed in terms of the two possible reasons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)913-921
Number of pages9
JournalTribology International
Issue number11-12 SPEC.ISS.
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the Ministry of Science and Technology of Korea through the 21C Frontier Research Program and J&L Tech. Co., Ltd.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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