On the adhesion of diamond-like carbon coatings deposited by low-pressure plasma on 316L stainless steel

Gabriel Morand, Pascale Chevallier, Linda Bonilla-Gameros, Stéphane Turgeon, Maxime Cloutier, Mathieu Da Silva Pires, Andranik Sarkissian, Michael Tatoulian, Laurent Houssiau, Diego Mantovani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diamond-like carbon (DLC) thin films constitute proven protective coatings due to their outstanding mechanical and tribological properties, combined with a relative chemical inertness and long-term stability. These make them particularly attractive to protect metallic medical implants from corrosion and erosion. However, lack of adhesion between DLC and metallic surfaces is a recurrent problem due to poor interactions with the native oxide layer. An effective strategy to overcome these adhesion issues consists in building interfacial layers. In this context, in this work, the use of a plasma treatment to generate shallow metallic carbide layers was investigated, to promote DLC adhesion directly on the surface of 316L stainless steel (SS). The metallic carbides presence stabilizes and promotes DLC thin film deposition. The highest adhesion was obtained on samples carburized by methane during 20?min with a bias of ?700?V. Furthermore, this led to interface amorphization. In conclusion, this study shows that plasma can provide new insights for overcoming the lack of adhesion of DLC thin films on SS metallic surfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)658-671
Number of pages14
JournalSurface and interface analysis
Issue number7
Early online date26 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • coating adhesion
  • depth profile analysis
  • diamond-like carbon
  • interface
  • plasma carburizing

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