Diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings have been deposited onto stainless steel, carbon steel and brass by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition, respectively. Atomic arrangement, chemical structure, surface morphology and cross-section microstructure of the DLC coatings were examined by X-ray diffraction, Raman scattering spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The electrochemical behaviors of the DLC coatings in 3.5 wt.% NaCl solution were investigated by performing an open circuit potential (OCP) measurement and a potentiodynamic polarization test. The experimental results showed that properly deposited DLC coatings could cause an increase of OCP by hundreds of millivolts and a reduction of anodic current density by several orders of magnitude as compared to that of the substrate. The results also demonstrated that electrochemical techniques could be used as tools to detect the soundness of the DLC coating by examining OCP and polarization curve, which varied with the form of defect and depended on the type of substrate.
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