Date of this Version
United States Patent No.: US 6,572,935 B1 Jun. 3, 2003
A plasma-based method for the deposition of diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings is described. The process uses a radio-frequency inductively coupled discharge to generate a plasma at relatively low gas pressures. The deposition process is environmentally friendly and scaleble to large areas, and components that have geometrically complicated surfaces can be processed. The method has been used to deposit abherent 100-400 nm thick DLC coatings on metals, glass, and polymers. These coatings are between three and four times harder than steel and are therefore scratch resistant, and transparent to visible light. Boron and silicon doping of the DLC coatings have produced coatings having improved optical properties and lower coatings stress levels, but with slightly lower hardness.