Diamond-like Carbon – DLC
Diamond-like carbon (DLC) films are gaining increasing importance due to their unique and outstanding properties. They reduce friction and wear, thus cutting the consumption of lubricants and release agents and increasing the reliability and service life of key components in mechanical and plant engineering or motor sport.
Innovative diamond-like carbon coatings can also be used for artificial implants in medicine. Catheters, stents or prostheses often remain in the body for months or even years. Long-term implants in particular may lead to the development of persistent bacterial films which are very difficult to eliminate. They not only impede the functionality of the implant, but also provide a source of recurrent infections – with grave health consequences. Coatings made from diamond-like carbon provide a solution to this problem by reducing the formation of bacterial films.
Diamond-like carbon films mainly consist of carbon in sp² and sp³ hybridisation as an amorphous structure, i.e. a mixture of graphite and diamond-like bonds. Depending on production conditions and application requirements, DLC coatings may also contain hydrogen or various doping elements such as silicon, titanium, chromium and nitrogen to provide a wide range of chemical and physical properties. These coatings
can thus be applied in practically all areas of engineering and life sciences.
The Research Group for Functional Surfaces combines long years of expertise with state-ofthe-art industrial vacuum deposition equipment. It offers development, fabrication and characterisation of thin films and surface modification on components of up to 500 mm diameter and 400 mm coating thickness.