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Title: Metal (Ag/Ti)-Containing Hydrogenated Amorphous Carbon Nanocomposite Films with Enhanced Nanoscratch Resistance: Hybrid PECVD/PVD System and Microstructural Characteristics
Authors: Constantinou, Marios 
Nikolaou, Petros 
Koutsokeras, Loukas E. 
Avgeropoulos, Apostolos 
Moschovas, Dimitrios 
Varotsis, Constantinos 
Patsalas, Panos 
Kelires, Pantelis C. 
Constantinides, Georgios 
Keywords: Hybrid deposition system;Hydrogenated amorphous carbon films;Metallic nanoparticles;Nanocomposites;Nanoscratch
Category: Materials Engineering
Field: Engineering and Technology
Issue Date: 30-Mar-2018
Source: Nanomaterials, 2018, Volume 8, Issue 4, Article Number 209
Journal: Nanomaterials 
Abstract: This study aimed to develop hydrogenated amorphous carbon thin films with embedded metallic nanoparticles (a-C:H:Me) of controlled size and concentration. Towards this end, a novel hybrid deposition system is presented that uses a combination of Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD) and Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) technologies. The a-C:H matrix was deposited through the acceleration of carbon ions generated through a radio-frequency (RF) plasma source by cracking methane, whereas metallic nanoparticles were generated and deposited using terminated gas condensation (TGC) technology. The resulting material was a hydrogenated amorphous carbon film with controlled physical properties and evenly dispersed metallic nanoparticles (here Ag or Ti). The physical, chemical, morphological and mechanical characteristics of the films were investigated through X-ray reflectivity (XRR), Raman spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and nanoscratch testing. The resulting amorphous carbon metal nanocomposite films (a-C:H:Ag and a-C:H:Ti) exhibited enhanced nanoscratch resistance (up to +50%) and low values of friction coefficient (<0.05), properties desirable for protective coatings and/or solid lubricant applications. The ability to form nanocomposite structures with tunable coating performance by potentially controlling the carbon bonding, hydrogen content, and the type/size/percent of metallic nanoparticles opens new avenues for a broad range of applications in which mechanical, physical, biological and/or combinatorial properties are required.
ISSN: 2079-4991
DOI: 10.3390/nano8040209
Rights: © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Άρθρα/Articles

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