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Niobium-containing DLC coatings on various substrates for strain gauges

: Grein, M.; Gerstenberg, J.; Heide, C. von der; Bandorf, R.; Bräuer, G.; Dietzel, A.

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Coatings 9 (2019), Nr.7, Art. 417, 11 S.
ISSN: 2079-6412
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IST ()
Nb-DLC; strain sensor; piezoresistivity; polyimide; crack formation; niobium carbide

Niobium-containing diamond-like carbon films (a-C:H:Nb) were deposited in a hybrid plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) and direct-current magnetron sputtering (DCMS) process, using a niobium target in an argon/acetylene atmosphere on industrial polyimide foil, spin-coated polyimide foil, and alumina substrates. While the coating on the industrial foil tends to crack, the thin films on the spin-coated polyimide and the ceramic substrates showed good adhesion, as well as a smooth and dense topography. Investigations of the electrical properties revealed their suitability as biocompatible sensor materials in strain gauges, with a gauge factor of up to 3.2 and a temperature coefficient of the electrical resistance (TCR) of −200 ppm/K.