Nanoindentation and nanoscratching of hard carbon coatings for magnetic disks
Additional Document Info
Nanoindentation and nanoscratching experiments have been performed to assess the mechanical properties of several carbon thin films with potential application as wear resistant coatings for magnetic disks. These include three hydrogenated-carbon films prepared by sputter deposition in a H2/Ar gas mixture (hydrogen contents of 20, 34, and 40 atomic %) and a pure carbon film prepared by cathodic-arc plasma techniques. Each film was deposited on a silicon substrate to thickness of about 300 nm. The hardness and elastic modulus were measured using nanoindentation methods, and ultra-low load scratch tests were used to assess the scratch resistance of the films and measure friction coefficients. The results show that the hardness, elastic modulus, and scratch resistance of the 20% and 34% hydrogenated films are significantly greater than the 40% film, thereby showing that there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen producing beneficial effects. The cathodic-arc film, with a hardness of greater than 59 GPa, is considerably harder than any of the hydrogenated films and has a superior scratch resistance.