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Structure and friction properties of laser-patterned amorphous carbon films

: Komlenok, Maksim Sergeevich; Arutyunyan, Natalia R.; Kononenko, Vitali Victorovich; Zavedeev, Evgeny V.; Frolov, Vadim D.; Chouprik, Anastasia A.; Baturin, Andrey S.; Scheibe, Hans-Joachim; Pimenov, Sergei M.


Diamond and Related Materials 65 (2016), pp.69-74
ISSN: 0925-9635
International Conference on Diamond and Carbon Materials <26, 2015, Bad Homburg>
Journal Article, Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IWS ()
DLC; graphitization; laser surface microstructuring; scanning probe microscopy

In the paper we report on laser surface modification of super hard micrometer-thick tetrahedral amorphous carbon (ta-C) films in the regime of single-shot irradiation with KrF laser pulses (wavelength 248 nm, pulse duration 20 ns), aimed at investigations of the laser-induced changes of the structure and surface properties of the ta-C films during graphitization and developing ablation processes. Based on the analysis of surface relief changes in the laser-irradiated spots, characteristics of the single-shot graphitization and ablation of the 2-μm-thick ta-C film are determined. Using Raman spectroscopy, it is found that during the graphitization regime the structure transformation and growth of graphitic clusters occur according to the relationship I(D)/I(G) ∝ La 2, but after reaching the ablation thresholdthe Tuinstra-Koenig relationship I(D)/I(G) ∝ 1/La describes further growth of the graphitic cluster size (La) during developing ablation of the ta-C film with nanosecond pulses. The maximal size of graphitized clusters is estimated as La = 4-5 nm. The studies of nanomechanical properties of laser-patterned ta-C films using the lateral force microscopy and force modulation microscopy have evidenced lower friction forces (between diamond-coated tips and film surface) and lower stiffness in the laser-graphitized areas. The laser-produced graphitic layer acts as a solid lubricant during sliding of the diamond-coated tips on the ta-C film surface in ambient air (~ 50% RH); the lubricating role of adsorbed water layers is suggested to be significant at low loads on the tips. The results of this work demonstrate that the UV laser surface texturing in the regime of graphitization is a promising technique to control the friction and surface elasticity of super hard amorphous carbon films on the micro and nanoscale.