On the wettabllity of nanocomposite amorphous carbon films

P. Zhang*, B. K. Tay, G. Q. Yu, S. P. Lau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Nanocomposite Si containing amorphous carbon (a-C:Si) and metal containing amorphous carbon (a-C:Me) films including a-C:Al, a-C:Ti, and a-C:Ni were prepared by the filtered cathodic vacuum arc (FCVA) technique The metal-carbon (5 at.% metal) composite targets were used. The VCA Optima system was used to measure the contact angle. Three types of liquid were used to study the changes in the surface energy. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was employed to analyze the composition and chemical state of the films. The surface morphology and roughness of the films were determined by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The Al containing films show the highest contact angle with water, which reaches as high as 101.26°. The Si containing films show the lowest contact angle around 64°. The contact angles of Ni, and Ti containing films are around 83°, 96.5°, respectively. The absorption of oxygen on the surface play an important role on the polar component of the a-C:Me films. The formation of Al-O, and Ti-O bonds is responsible for the lower polar component. The metal state Ni results in higher polar component. The Si-O bond contributes to the high polar component of a-C:Si film. As all films are atomic scale smooth, the RMS roughness is below 0.5 nm, the roughness does not have obvious effect on the surface energy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-70
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Metastable and Nanocrystalline Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Diamond-Like Carbon
  • FCVA
  • Metal-Containing Amorphous Carbon
  • Surface Energy

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