Mechanical and tribological properties of Si and W doped diamond like carbon (DLC) under dry reciprocating sliding conditions

M Bai, L Yang, J Li, L Luo, S Sun, BJ Inkson

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    The mechanical and tribological properties of three types of diamond like carbon (DLC) coatings, i.e., non-doped, Si-doped, and W-doped DLC, are evaluated. Dry reciprocating sliding wear tests were performed to evaluate the effect of sliding frequency/velocity on friction, adhesion, and wear. The degree of graphitization of non-doped and W-doped DLC increases with sliding velocity, which results in a lower coefficient of friction (COF), and a decrease in wear rate. Si-doped DLC, however, exhibits distinct friction behaviour, with increasing COF and severe fluctuations in friction at higher sliding velocities. In Si-DLC frictional heating drives the formation of an oxide-rich tribofilm and large amounts of Si-rich oxide wear debris that are both adhesive and abrasive. The oxide-rich tribofilm, and lack of surface graphitization, result in the severe fluctuations of Si-DLC friction via stick-slip and surface fracture/wear mechanisms, and significantly increased COF and wear rates at higher sliding velocities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number204046
    Number of pages10
    Early online date24 Jul 2021
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open access article under the CC BY license (


    Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (Grant number EP/R001766/1 ) as a part of ‘Friction: The Tribology Enigma’ ( ), a collaborative Programme Grant between the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield.


    • Diamond like carbon
    • Doping
    • Thin film
    • Friction
    • Wear
    • Reciprocating


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