Nitrogen-rich layers are formed on the surface of JIS-SKH51 tool steel substrates using the plasma immersion ion implantation (PIII) technique. An unbalanced magnetron sputtering (UBMS) system is then used to coat the steel substrates with diamond-like carbon (DLC) films of various thicknesses. The adhesive strength and wear resistance of the DLC films are then examined by performing nanoscratch and nanowear tests. Finally, the microstructures of the DLC films are analyzed using TEM and Raman spectroscopy. The nanoindentation test results show that the PIII treatment yields an effective improvement in both the hardness and the Young's modulus of the SKH51 substrates. Moreover, cross-sectional observations show that the implantation depth and microstructure of the nitrogen-rich surface layer are dependent on the nitrogen/hydrogen flow ratio used in the PIII process. The nanoscratch test results show that the PIII treatment improves the adhesion of the DLC film to the steel substrate. Furthermore, the Raman spectroscopy results indicate that the use of hydrogen in the PIII process limits the increase in the I(D)/I(G) ratio by increasing the DLC film thickness. Finally, the nanowear test results show that the deposition of a DLC coating with a sufficient thickness yields a significant improvement in the wear resistance of the steel substrate.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry