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Optimization of Chemical Vapor Deposition Diamond Films Growth on Steel: Correlation Between Mechanical Properties, Structure, and Composition

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In the present work we perform optimization of mechanical and crystalline properties of CVD microcrystalline diamond films grown on steel substrates. A chromium–nitride (Cr–N) interlayer had been previously proposed to serve as a buffer for carbon and iron inter-diffusion and as a matching layer for the widely differing expansion coefficients of diamond and steel. However, adhesion and wear as well as crystalline perfection of diamond films are strongly affected by conditions of both Cr–N interlayer preparation and CVD diamond deposition. In this work we assess the effects of two parameters. The first one is the temperature of the Cr–N interlayer preparation: temperatures in the range of 500 °C–800 °C were used. The second one is diamond film thickness in the 0.5 μm–2 μm range monitored through variation of the deposition time from ∼30 min to 2 hours. The mechanical properties of so deposited diamond films were investigated. For this purpose, scratch tests were performed at different indentation loads. The friction coefficient and wear loss were assessed. The mechanical and tribological properties were related to structure, composition, and crystalline perfection of diamond films which were extensively analyzed using different microscopic and spectroscopic techniques. It was found that relatively thick diamond film deposited on the Cr–N interlayer prepared at the temperature similar to that of the CVD process has the best mechanical and adhesion strength. This film was stable without visible cracks around the wear track during all scratch tests with different indentation loads. In other cases, cracking and delamination of the films took place at low to moderate indentation loads.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-09-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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