Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Materials Science and Engineering

Major Professor

Jacqueline Johnson

Committee Members

George Murray, Trevor Moeller


Diamond-like carbon (DLC) thin films were produced by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) on silicon, fused silica, and silicon nitride substrates. The films produced were either undoped, made using a pure graphite target, or doped, using multi-component targets made from a combination of graphite and silicon, silicon nitride, titanium dioxide, or silicon monoxide. These films were evaluated for their potential use in biomedical applications, including coatings for artificial joints, heart stents, and bronchoscopes. The films were characterized by Raman spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, ball-on-flat tribometry, contact angle measurements, and spectrophotometry. Film thickness was determined by optical profilometry. Film adhesion was checked by soaking the films in simulated body fluid (SBF) and monitoring the quality of the film surface at varying time intervals using an optical microscope. DLC coatings were produced with a root mean square surface roughness of less than 1 nm and a 0.08 lubricated coefficient of friction. Contact angles of water on the undoped films varied with deposition conditions, ranging from 65 to 88 degrees. Contact angles as low as 25 degrees were achieved by incorporating silicon monoxide dopant. DLC coatings were produced on fused silica having high transparency and showing no delamination after forty-three weeks of immersion in SBF. These results indicate that these films have potential as biomedical coatings.


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