Article Title

Multiscale frictional behaviors of sp2 nanocrystallited carbon films with different ion irradiation densities


macro-tribology, micro-tribology, sp2 nanocrystallite, carbon film, ion irradiation density


sp2 nanocrystallited carbon films with large nanocrystallite sizes, smooth surfaces, and relative high hardness were prepared with different ion irradiation densities regulated with the substrate magnetic coil current in an electron cyclotron resonance plasma sputtering system. Their multiscale frictional behaviors were investigated with macro pin-on-disk tribo-tests and micro nanoscratch tests. The results revealed that, at an ion irradiation density of 16 mA/cm2, sp2 nanocrystallited carbon film exhibits the lowest friction coefficient and good wear resistant properties at both the macroscale and microscale. The film sliding against a Si3N4 ball under a contact pressure of 0.57 GPa exhibited a low friction coefficient of 0.09 and a long wear life at the macroscale. Furthermore, the film sliding against a diamond tip under a contact pressure of 4.9 GPa exhibited a stable low friction coefficient of 0.08 with a shallow scratch depth at the microscale. It is suggested that sp2 nanocrystallites affect the frictional behaviors in the cases described differently. At the macroscale, the contact interface via the small real contact area and the sp2 nanocrystallited transfer layer dominated the frictional behavior, while the sp2 nanocrystallited structure in the film with low shear strength and high plastic resistivity, as well as the smooth surface morphology, decided the steady low nanoscratch properties at the microscale. These findings expand multiscale tribological applications of sp2 nanocrystallited carbon films.


Tsinghua University Press