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2011/02/12

Diamond-like carbon (DLC 類鑽膜) vs. ta-C

Diamond-like carbon (DLC) exists in seven different forms[1] of amorphous carbon materials that display some of the unique properties of diamond. They are usually applied as coatings to other materials that could benefit from some of those properties. All seven contain significant amounts of sp3 hybridizedcarbon atoms. The reason that there are different types is that even diamond can be found in two crystalline polytypes. The usual one has its carbon atoms arranged in a cubic lattice, while the very rare one (lonsdaleite) has a hexagonal lattice. By mixing these polytypes in various ways at the nanoscale level of structure, DLC coatings can be made that at the same time are amorphous, flexible, and yet purely sp3 bonded "diamond". The hardest, strongest, and slickest is such a mixture, known as tetrahedral amorphous carbon, or ta-C. For example, a coating of only 2 μm thickness of ta-C increases the resistance of common (i.e. type 304) stainless steel against abrasive wear; changing its lifetime in such service from one week to 85 years. Such ta-C can be considered to be the "pure" form of DLC, since it consists only of sp3 bonded carbon atoms. Fillers such as hydrogen, graphitic sp2 carbon, and metals are used in the other 6 forms to reduce production expenses or to impart other desirable properties.[2][3] The various forms of DLC can be applied to almost any material that is compatible with a vacuum environment. In 2006, the market for outsourced DLC coatings was estimated as about 30,000,000 € in theEuropean Union.



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