Dutch chemist Ivan Buijnsters from the University of Nijmegen has successfully produced a diamond layer on a steel substrate. This opens up the possibility of wear-resistant tools. The secret to this technique is an adhesive layer between the steel and the diamond layer.
Buijnsters made diamond layers by allowing methane gas diluted in hydrogen gas to dissociate on a hot wire just above the substrate. The carbon atoms present in the methane dropped onto the substrate and formed a thin layer of diamond there. However, this technique did not work on a steel substrate. Graphite mostly formed on this.
The researcher discovered why a diamond layer could not be created on some types of steel. During the deposition process the carbon penetrated several micrometres into the metal, where it formed iron carbides. Subsequently, graphite formed instead of diamond. This effect was found to be less strong in stainless steel, although it was still strong enough to prevent the formation of a well-sealed diamond coating.
Nalinie Moerlie | alfa
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