Diamond Like Coatings for Polymeric Substrates via Plasma Synthesis
Small Business Information
11 Tech Circle, Natick, MA, 01760
Dr. V. Hruby
AbstractMost dimond like carbon (DLC) deposition processes require gaseous hydocarbon breakdown on high temperature tolerant substrates. A team of Argonne National Laboratory demonstrated that fullerenes can be used as DLC precursors and that an H2 or O2 rich environment is not required. Burek is extending a similar fullerene techique to DLC coating of plastic materials. Injection molding of plastics is the process of choice for rapid, low cost component manufacture, however, even highly loaded polymers wear poorly. A low temperature plasma based DLC coating technology has the potential to enhance platic materials and find applications with metals and ceramics as well. The hardness and scratch resistance of diamond makes it the perfect material for polymer wear coatings on gears, sprockets, and parts exposed to corrosive envirnments. Advances in coating clarity will expand the uses to include telecommunications, information storage, and consumer goods. A busek designed fullerene ion source was developed as a thruster for satellite propulsion, and has additionally shown the capacity to deposit hard carbon films at low temperature on polyetherimides. Busek proposes to investigate, develop, and characterize these high hardness DLC coatings on two polymer sustrates, polyetherimide (Kapton TM) and polymethylmethacrylate (PlexiglasTM). This technique promises low temperature, high deposition rate, high uniformity, broad area coverage, low process variability, and with the recent reduction in fullerene prices, low coating cost.
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