Atomic-scale structure and composition of tungsten carbide reinforced diamondlike carbon films

Scharf, T. W.; Romanes, M. C.; Mahdak, K. C.; Hwang, J. Y.; Banerjee, R.; Evans, R. D.; Doll, G. L.
October 2008
Applied Physics Letters;10/13/2008, Vol. 93 Issue 15, p151909
Academic Journal
This study presents the true atomic-scale structure and composition of hard/lubricious nanocomposite diamondlike carbon (DLC) films. Nanocrystalline tungsten carbide (∼2–4 nm precipitates) in mixed sp3/sp2 amorphous C–H matrices was characterized using the combination of three-dimensional atom probe (3DAP) tomography and transmission electron microscopy. Excellent correspondence in structural and chemical layering was observed (alternating ∼25 nm thick carbon-rich and tungsten-rich layers) with 3DAP also revealing C32+ and C2H4+ species in the carbon-rich layers and W2+, WC2+, C+, and C2+ species in the tungsten-rich layers. 3D morphology and chemical partitioning of the WC nanoprecipitates in the tungsten-rich layers are also discussed.


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