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Laser surface graphitization to control friction of diamond-like carbon coatings

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


Applied physics. A 121 (2015), Nr.3, S.1031-1038
ISSN: 0340-3793
ISSN: 0721-7250
ISSN: 0947-8396 (Print)
ISSN: 1432-0630 (Online)
Fraunhofer IWS ()
carbon films; friction; graphititization; hydrogenation

To study the role of laser surface graphitization in the friction behavior of laser-patterned diamond-like carbon (DLC) films, we apply the scanning probe microscopy (SPM) in the lateral force mode (LFM) which allows to obtain simultaneously the lateral force and topography images and to determine local friction levels in laser-irradiated and original surface areas. Based on this approach in the paper, we report on (1) laser surface microstructuring of hydrogenated a-C:H and hydrogen-free ta-C films in the regime of surface graphitization using UV laser pulses of 20-ns duration and (2) correlation between the structure and friction properties of the laser-patterned DLC surface on micro/nanoscale using SPM/LFM technique. The SPM/LFM data obtained for the surface relief gratings of graphitized microstructures have evidenced lower friction forces in the laser-graphitized regions. For the hydrogenated DLC films, the reversible frictional behavior of the laser-graphitized micropatterns is found to take place during LFM imaging at different temperatures (20 and 120 °C) in ambient air. It is revealed that the lateral force distribution in the laser-graphitized areas is shifted to higher friction levels (relative to that of the unirradiated surface) at temperature 120 °C and returned back to the lower friction during the sample cooling to 20 °C, thus confirming an influence of adsorbed water layers on the nanofriction properties of laser-graphitized micropatterns on the film surface.