DLC or Diamond Like Carbon coating is an amorphous carbon coating that is applied to a host of substrate materials and displays some of the typical properties of a natural diamond. Chief interest among these proprieties is the hardness of the film being representative to that of a diamond. Additionally, DLC coatings offer a low friction coefficient for improved lubricity and wear resistance.
Improved wear resistance and hardness are primary characteristics of DLC coating when used for tribological applications. For optical applications DLC coatings are most commonly used for their anti-reflective properties in the infrared light wavelengths. Because DLC coatings are extremely hard and provide good anti-reflective performance; IR sensor and optical fabrication/design firms utilize them on their air facing surfaces for ruggedized optical systems.
Multiple deposition techniques can be used to apply a DLC coating. Some of the more popular deposition techniques are Physical Vapor Deposition and Plasma Assisted Chemical Vapor Deposition. Both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages which can be discussed with a thin-film coating professional in order to select the appropriate deposition method.
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