Tailored a-C:H coatings by nanostructuring and alloying

R. Hauert, L. Knoblauch-Meyer, G. Francz, A. Schroeder, E. Wintermantel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The different properties of a-C:H can be tuned, either by alloying additional elements into the amorphous a-C:H or by building multilayer structures composed of two different types of a-C:H. This allows the design of optimized coatings for a wide range of applications. Multilayered a-C:H films, composed of a 60 nm Si-a-C:H adhesion layer and 300 nm multilayer structure have been deposited by a periodical variation of the sample self-bias voltage during deposition. The single layer thickness has been varied from 4 to 20 nm. The wear rate (determined by pin-on-disk measurement against a steel ball) of multilayer structures having a single layer thickness in the range of 12-14 nm, showed a drastic decrease by one decade down to 4 x 10-18 m3 Nm-1, compared to the multilayer systems composed of thicker or thinner single layers. Amorphous hydrogenated carbon films containing titanium in different concentrations (a-C:H/Ti) were deposited by a combined RF-PACVD and DC magnetron sputtering process. The titanium content in the carbon matrix caused cellular reactions of bone marrow cells (BMC) like enhanced cell proliferation together with a reduced osteoclast cell activity. This could make a-C:H/Ti a valuable hard coating for bone implants, by enhancing bone ingrowth through osteoblast differentiation while reducing bone resorption through osteoclast inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-296
Number of pages6
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
StatePublished - Nov 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Alloying
  • Nanostructuring
  • a-C:H coatings


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