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Development of a radio frequency atmospheric pressure plasma jet for diamond-like carbon coatings on stainless steel substrates

Research paper by F. Sohbatzadeh, O. Samadi, S. N. Siadati, G. R. Etaati, E. Asadi, R. Safari

Indexed on: 12 Sep '16Published on: 12 Sep '16Published in: Applied Physics A



Abstract

In this paper, an atmospheric pressure plasma jet with capacitively coupled radio frequency discharge was developed for diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings on stainless steel substrates. The plasma jet was generated by argon–methane mixture and its physical parameters were investigated. Relation between the plasma jet length and width of the powered electrode was discussed. Optical and electrical characteristics were studied by optical emission spectroscopy, voltage and current probes, respectively. The evolutions of various species like ArI, C2 and CH along the jet axis were investigated. Electron temperature and density were estimated by Boltzmann plot method and Saha–Boltzmann equation, respectively. Finally, a diamond-like carbon coating was deposited on stainless steel-304 substrates by the atmospheric pressure radio frequency plasma jet in ambient air. Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy and Vickers hardness test were used to study the deposited films. The length of the jet was increased by increasing the width of the powered electrode. The estimated electron temperature and density were 1.43 eV and 1.39 × 1015 cm−3, respectively. Averaged Vicker’s hardness of the coated sample was three times greater than that of the substrate. The SEM images of the deposited thin films revealed a 4.5 μm DLC coated for 20 min.