Effects of atomic structure on the frictional properties of amorphous carbon coatings

LQ Li and WP Song and A Ovcharenko and M Xu and GY Zhang, SURFACE & COATINGS TECHNOLOGY, 263, 8-14 (2015).

DOI: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2014.12.075

Diamond-like carbon (DLC) films are widely used as protective coatings against wear and corrosion and have attracted a lot of attention in the last few decades. However, it is very difficult to determine the hybridization and structure of amorphous carbon experimentally during sliding. Therefore, in this work, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are employed to investigate the nano-tribological properties of amorphous carbon with and without hydrogen atoms doped. The simulation models are built with DLC/DLC interface and diamond/DLC interface for different densities of carbon. As we found, both the carbon bonding network and the carbon hybridization have significant effect on the frictional properties of DLC films. The unsaturated carbon atoms, which are in sp(2) or sp(1) hybridization, can lead to the formation of covalent bonds between the two contacting surfaces resulting in stick- slip type of friction. With an increase of sp(3) bonding content in tetrahedral carbon and doping of amorphous carbon with hydrogen atoms decrease the steady-state value of friction force and reduce the amount of the stick-slip motion. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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