Characterisation of DLC Films Deposited Using Titanium Isopropoxide (TIPOT) at Different Flow Rates
Abstract:In recent years, there has been growing interest in the search for advanced biomaterials for biomedical applications, such as human implants and surgical cutting tools. It is known that both carbon and titanium exhibit good biocompatibility and have been used as implants in the human body. It is highly desirable to deposit biocompatible thin films onto a range of components in order to impart biocompatibility and to minimise wear in implants. Diamond like carbon (DLC) is a good candidate material for achieving biocompatibility and low wear rates. In this study, thin films of diamond-like-carbon DLC were deposited onto stainless steel (316) substrates using C2H2, argon and titanium isopropoxide (TIPOT) precursors. Argon was used to generate the plasma in the plasma enhanced vapour deposition (PECVD) system. A critical coating feature governing the performance of the component during service is film thickness. The as-grown films were in the thickness range 90–100 nm and were found to be dependent on TIPOT flow rate. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to characterise the surface roughness of the samples. As the flow rate of TIPOT increased the average roughness was found to increase in conjunction with the film thickness. Raman spectroscopy was used to investigate the chemical structure of amorphous carbon matrix. Surface tension values were calculated using contact angle measurements. In general, the trend of the surface tension results exhibited an opposite trend to that of the contact angle. The elemental composition of the samples was characterised using a VG ToF SIMS (IX23LS) instrument and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Surprisingly, SIMS and XPS results showed that the DLC samples did not show evidence of titanium since no peaks representing to titanium appeared on the SIMS/XPS spectra.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: July 1, 2009
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